"Dressing with one's culture in mind is very important" – Manish Arora on his Ramadan collection
I n Dubai for the launch of his capsule collection, Manish Arora speaks exclusively to Buro 24/7 Middle East's Editor-in-Chief Shannon Wylie on Ramadan, modest dressing and why being true to your culture is the best way to embrace style...
The DNA of Manish Arora is nothing but striking, tell us about how you translated that into this limited-edition collection...
We called it the Ramadan collaboration and it's about taking my style and putting it into the Riva world. This is the first collection, where I've kept in mind the Gulf market. Usually when we do a collaboration it'll mostly be global, or for a particular region in Europe, but, we've never done the Middle East.
Talk us through some of the colours, some of the cuts?
This is inspired by West America, like the cowgirl. You can see the horseshoe, you can see the studs, you can see the roses and of course, the broken heart. I watched a lot of David Lynch movies and Twin Peaks is the show I was quite obsessed with. I was imagining how would it be if Manish Arora had to be a part of Twin Peaks.
The designs are inspired by my Paris collection which we used to call Twin Peaks on Haribos – the gummy bear
Your style is very distinct. It's colourful, beautiful and embellished. How would you describe Manish Arora designs?
Well, we believe life is beautiful even though it may not be true. I personally also feel that our brand is an extension of emotions like happiness, joy or celebration. I have always said that if somebody comes to my show or I see somebody wearing my clothes, they should feel happy and if they do that, then that means we've succeeded with our brand.
I think in today's day and age though, it's very difficult to maintain that state of being all of the time. What is it about the way you work and your personal beliefs that allow you to translate happiness into the collection?
Do you know, my clothes are like an extension of my personality?! It's exactly what I'm going through and it comes across in my work. There are designers like that but not many of them. So, I'm glad that I'm one of them and that's why I've managed to be consistent but that means that I have to make sure life is exciting all of the time.
You've designed the collection specifically for Ramadan dressing. How do you relate to the Holy month?
India is the country of festivals so we understand the importance of culture and how people like to celebrate and that's what we wanted to keep in mind.
A conversation that's sparking interest in the market at the moment is on modest dressing and how international designers are taking inspiration from that. What's your view?
I think dressing with one's culture in mind is very important. You may call it modest dressing but different cultures have different explanations of modesty. So I would say it's dressing up but keeping your culture in mind, rather than modesty dressing.
The Manish Arora x Riva Ramadan collection is available at Riva, The Dubai Mall from May 18. Also, don't miss the Manish Arora Fall/Winter '17 runway show from Paris Fashion Week.
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