Ace fashion designer Manish Malhotra says Indian fashion designers are today seen in a different light in the world, with many of them showcasing and presenting their collections at international fashion shows.
Malhotra has been in the industry for about 28 years as a costume designer and has owned the Manish Malhotra label for 13 years.
In these almost three decades, he has seen changes in the fashion industry.
"Like every other industry, the times of rapid change call for a different way of doing things in fashion as well, and the fashion industry in India has definitely gone through transformations.
"People are becoming vocal with their opinions on craftsmanship and the designs we showcase or the national and international influencers we dress," Malhotra told IANS in an email interview.
"Indian fashion designers are today seen in a different light in the world with many of us showcasing and presenting at fashion shows across the globe. My addition to the Academy Awards as a jury member is a testament of our work."
He feels the consumer landscape is truly changing, thanks to social media.
"Luxury is today as much about the experience or the story as it is about the product. I see many people dressing according to their personality and owning up to their aesthetics. There is a lot more individuality, with a great mix of style and fashion. However, I continue to see a lot of global influences in fashion," he pointed out.
He also believes that the conservative mindset surrounding "accepted" fashion no longer exists.
"The fashion industry in India has evolved tastefully, especially in the last decade. If you ask me what is coming back, it is bell-bottoms. It has been a classic style and we have seen a surge of it on the ramp and in real life. Fashion is about knowing what works for you and how you carry it with confidence."
The designer to stars like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kajol and Katrina Kaif likes to enjoy spreading his knowledge to people who are eager to learn and indulge themselves in fashion. And so, he started his online fashion design course this year.
"I feel that if my experience can benefit the designers of the future then why not share it with them. Currently, I do not have any plans to set up a fashion institute, but would also not rule out that option completely," he said.
As a designer, he is always enthusiastic about stepping outside his comfort zone to explore newer frontiers of design.
"Collaborations are always exciting, even if they are outside the realm of clothes. For instance, my collaboration with ALCHYMI by Hindware has been a great experience for me.
"While creating this collection, I started with my love for modern and chic designs with clean lines, which is reflected in the creations for ALCHYMI bathroom suites. Together, we curated bathrooms suites that are unique in colour and shapes such as black and earthen brown, which are not just contemporary, but also in line with my own design philosophy.
"Combining textures such as marble finish with ceramics or having an aroma slot in your basins and water closets to enhance your experience in the bath space, working on ALCHYMI has helped me challenge my own notions of fashion and design."
Malhotra, who visited ‘Jiyo! Live It!’ — an exhibit-cum-outreach programme by The Asian Heritage Foundation in Delhi — earlier this month, has also collaborated with wine brand Chandon to create two limited edition bottles for Chandon Brut.>