‘Threads of Emotion’ by Manish Malhotra Autum Winter 2013

My list of favorite Indian designers is kind of limited so I wait with anticipation to see what is the latest that they have to offer. Manish Malhotra undoubtedly is one of them.
I absolutely am loving the fact that he is exploring the Indian heritage and giving it a modern meaning. Last year it was the intricate Kashmiri handwork which was my personal favorite since Kashmir happens to be my Mother land :-) I remember my Grandmother used to supervise a handwork embroidery unit in Srinagar till some 20 odd years ago before the sorry state of affairs began so I have been privy to some extremely beautiful Kashmiri handwork. Whenever I used to pay her a visit during my vacations she used to make it a point to take me to the workshop and show me how it was done. At that time I couldn’t have cared any less and if and only if I would have paid some attention and shown some interest maybe, just maybe it would have been me showing the collection instead of someone else hahaha. Ah! such is life dearies :-) Seeing it in Manish’s collection brought back my memories & a little pain but I felt proud of my Kahmiri roots & heritage so Thank U Manish.
This year in WIFW Autumn Winter 2013 he brings Punjab to us in form of the very famous Phulkari work which was aptly titled “Threads of Emotion”. Phulkari, a rural tradition of handmade embroidery literally means flower work & is a maternal symbol of love passed on from a mother to the daughter. Over the years Phulkari work has become more and more elaborate and led to evolution of “Bagh Phulkari”which means Garden of flowers. The work is so intricate that the embroidery becomes the fabric cos the fabric is no longer visible. The master craftsman has woven the entire history of this beautiful craftsmanship in his own indigenous form & brought it alive to suit the palette of today’s generation.
Although the show is named “Threads of Emotion” I am not sure it elicits the right emotion out of me, the one Mr Malhotra would have desired.
Ever since I have seen the Autum Winter 2013 collection I can’t decide whether to like it or hate it. Manish surely has digressed a little from his usual silhouettes which don’t seem very form flattering & though there is a whole lot of color it still looks lackluster. It doesn’t seem to garner the usual “jump out of the chair” reaction that makes me pine for one MM ensemble in my closet like “Right Now”. When I saw it I was like hmmmm..ok & then I re – saw it and re – saw it and was convinced that it didn’t impress me as much as the designer’s former work. Pretty lukewarm.
Having said that some of the pieces were very pretty like the blue embroidered Koti , the Green and blue combination Anarkalis and especially Jacqueline’s Bandhgala Achkan with beautiful Bagh work worn on a Lehenga skirt. Now THAT is the maestro I know. The rest was pretty average.

On the other hand I liked the Men’s collection. The colorful Phulkari dupattas used were beautiful. The subtle work on Siddharth Malhotra’s Achkan was one of my favorites.

Pictures courtesy : Vogue, Styleme India, dsb

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