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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Manish Arora's Fish Fry

Fish Fry?  Are you wondering why it is relevant to this fashion blog?  I am not sure  how the name came about either, but that's the quirky sense of humor of Fish Fry clothing designer, Manish Arora. 

Katy Perry wears his clothes. The renowned fashion writer for the International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes, adores him. I, too, am now caught up in Manish Arora's wacky, colorful world.

His brilliant collection caused spine tingling chills as the monitors lit up Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai
for the 2010 Winter/Festival collection presented with Phillips. Flickers of my favorite movie, Metropolis, flashed on various jumbotrons before the runway lights went up. Green laser  lights illuminated the runway complete with fog.  Seconds later, the first model stepped on the runway and the audience, including I, gasped in excitement.

1920s Deco met kitschy 1960s.His Winter 2010  collection sparkled with embroidery and texture using dimensional applique. Shapes included cowls, fitted skirts, oversized dolman sleeves and short swing jackets.  The finale black dresses were embellished with giant flower appliqu├ęs.
Like a wild, psychotropic laced dream, the models marched down the runway wearing Crayola crayon colored wigs fashioned by a Japanese hair wizard flown in for the show.  Every piece evoked humor and childhood joy in a kitschy way. One model even marched down the runway to peer thru her laser eye monocle. A crazy patched quilted jacket with sharp shoulders came down the runway on a model with asymmetrically styled hair. Incredible embroidery, his trademark, done in innovative ways reminded me of couture work of Lesage embroidery but infinitely more fun and modern.  Despite the brash spirit and wildness of the patterns, each piece viewed individually could be worn in real life.  I would naturally wear it just like it came off the runway, albeit without the wig.  
Manish Arora pieces defy easy categorization and his work evolves from season to season. Manish Arora has that rare mix of wry humor and talent merged in a true dreamer.  
I wish I had time to go shopping for his clothes in Mumbai but alas, I was struck down by not just food poisoning but heat stroke and viral fever. And, in the midst of my viral fever deliriums, I finally made it to the dinner table one night to find a TLC show playing on the telly called "The Ladies Tailor" spotlighting Pondicherry, India. 
And who should be peddling on the bike but, Manish Arora  aka The Ladies Tailor, hosting the show and dressed in the simplest cotton clothes.

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