Jagmeeta Thind Joy
His name is synonymous with Indian fashion, Bollywood, bridal trends and celebrity dressing. A Punjabi at heart – he admits so himself – fashion designer Manish Malhotra visited Chandigarh on Thursday to officially get rolling the London School of Trends (LST) courses.
The designer made it a point to mention to the students that he is self taught and didn’t get the opportunity (he so desired) to study fashion design professionally. “I haven’t done any designing course. Back when I started, there was no course eligible for boys in Mumbai,” quipped the designer. A movie buff, he spoke about how he spent more time in cinema halls than in school. “I wasn’t good at studies but I was passionate about colour and cinema. I watched movies wide-eyed and at some point wanted to be a filmmaker,” said Malhotra as he addressed the students.
Having started out her career as a model, Malhotra enrolled himself in a drawing course and discovered his love for sketching. “I think I passed my science exams purely because I sketched well,” said the designer as he took the students down memory lane. His foray into costume design was the turning point. “I learnt a lot on the job. Some directors would be taken aback that I wanted to read the script and talk about creating a look,” he says and laughs.
It’s been 27 years since his first film as a costume designer. “I continue to work in Bollywood but my focus is also on my label, which is 12 years old,” informed the designer who recently closed India Couture Week 2017 with a much appreciated collection that was a tad different from usual style. “I love traditional wear but have increasingly brought in contemporary elements as I think that’s how modern Indian brides want to dress up too. I want to push the envelope for myself. I want to explore what more I can do,” said Malhotra.
Bridal remains the mainstay of his collection. “I started to work on gowns two seasons back as I now find that at least one wedding function sees the bride in a gown. Today, the client is in-step with global fashion and they are eager to embrace new looks and experiment,” Malhotra shares.
But he does have a word of advice for would-be brides across India. “I think they tend to overdo it in terms of the look. If the jewellery is heavy, the outfit has to be toned down and vice versa,” he says adding, “It is good to invest in a good makeup artist and show restraint.”
With a chock-a-block schedule, Malhotra is already working on his next collection which will see him introduce a line of cocktail dresses and bespoke suits for men. He is also designing for a “really huge” period film with a mega star cast that includes the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Sridevi, Sonakshi Sinha and Alia Bhatt. “I am also working for Student of the Year 2,” informs Malhotra who lists Sridevi and Rekha as the most stylish in Bollywood. “I owe a lot of my success in films to Sridevi Ma’am,” remarked Malhotra who recently styled the actor for her film ‘Mom’. When it comes to leading men, the designer says for him Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are the most stylish actors.
During his visit to Chandigarh, Malhotra also felicitated 24 INIFD student designers who have been chosen to showcase their collection at ‘Fashion Scout’ as part of London Fashion Week.