Delhi Couture Week 2013 Finale: Manish Malhotra Goes Colonial

It was a Victorian/Colonial India-inspired collection for Manish Malhotra at PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013, where models wore luscious velvets and silks down the runway.manish malhotra delhi couture week lehengha

In his designer notes, Manish shares the inspiration behind the collection: an elite class of maharajas and maharanis during 1930s India, when viceroys and Indian royalty ruled over different parts of the country. Forget about independence movements and oppressed masses; Manish (like many designers who glorify colonial India in their collections) is concerned with the opulence and beauty of royalty and privilege:

“I could imagine a maharani, dressed in a layered lehenga-ensemble, which was embellished with antique gold, and wearing heirloom jewellery, walking down a corridor with her entourage, to meet the viceroy in his regalia. Their conversations, conducted through a screen, echoed in my mind.”

The collection was all very Manish, with pretty, feminine silhouettes, exposed backs, deep v-necks and floor sweeping anarkalis and lehenghas. Key trends we spotted on the runway: long fitted sleeves, puff shoulders, high-collared necks, little button details, velvet for men and women, and a colour palette of navy, red, maroon and beige.

Manish Malhotra Couture Fall 2013
Manish Malhotra Couture Fall 2013
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Shahrukh Khan, Manish Malhotra and Deepika Padukone
Shahrukh Khan, Manish Malhotra and Deepika Padukone
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Our verdict: The colour palette is beautiful for Fall/Winter, but there were no standout, wow pieces in the collection. After his experimentation with heritage crafts at India Fashion Week AW2013, this was a bit of a disappointment. There were some beautiful, understated pieces (the boat neck, exposed back, bright red anarkalik gowns) that we’re excited to see on a Bollywood red carpet soon.

Have you watched our interview with Manish Malhotra? He shares his view on Indian heritage crafts and fashion design here.

Photography Courtesy: FDCI and Manish Malhotra