Manish Arora eschewed a catwalk show this season and instead presented his spring 2020 collection in a vast hall, where LGBTQ artists performed and modeled his fashion.
“Last year in India, we finally got rid of a very old British law, section 377, which means it’s finally legal to be gay,” the designer said at the happening, when asked about his thinking behind the format this season. “The base of the concept was that, and then we went much deeper, and said: ‘Who do we get? Should it be models? People [with] stories?’”
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A gender-fluid assemblage was selected. “That’s what we call the queer family,” said Arora.
Concurrently, the designer mined his archives while crafting the collection. “Because also I am working toward my first solo exhibition in 2021,” said Arora, explaining it will be at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.
So the collection nods to Manish Arora’s past, but with a profusion of upbeat prints and embellishments.
There was the white floor-length tiered dress ablaze with giraffe, flower, zebra and star motifs. A sweeping black skirt came spangled with hearts decorated with what resembled colorful, swirling ribbons and multihued snowflakes. That came paired with a frilly blue denim skirt and accessorized with a yellow smiley-faced handbag.
A riot of colors and motifs? For sure. But they successfully help channel the designer’s message that “life is beautiful.”
Launch Gallery: Manish Arora RTW Spring 2020