NEW DELHI — India Couture Week celebrated its tenth anniversary in style with a spectacular grand finale by Manish Malhotra featuring young stars Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh as his muses.
The designer, who has been a part of the FDCI India Couture Week for the past seven years, endeavored to break away from the "quintessential bridal" space with his new collection, "Sensual Affair."
"I wanted to put up a show which was a bit different. I didn't want to do a quintessential bridal collection. Clothes are all about the cocktail, sangeet and reception, but not about the wedding day," Malhotra told reporters after show.
The designer said that actors Bhatt and Singh signify the "young and different" and thus were the obvious choices and guaranteed showstoppers.
Malhotra further said he had wanted to collaborate with Singh for the past three years and is happy that finally he could get the "Bajirao Mastani" star to walk for him.
"For me, when you think of young and different you can only think about Alia and Ranveer. They are eclectic, fabulous and talented and are just getting better day by day. I have been telling Ranveer to walk for me for the past three years," he said.
"He is always enthusiastic and lovely. He said, 'There will be a day when I will walk for you and it will be fabulous.' And yes, it is fabulous."
Talking about Bhatt, the designer said, "Alia is ours. Karan (Johar) and I... We both are like 'she is ours'. Every step she takes we all feel like proud elder brothers. She is evolving and it is just fantastic."
Reminiscent of a bygone era, the collection focused on luxurious volume and noble fabrics that gave a sensuous feel to the garments.
From the color palette and meticulous detailing to the soft drapes, each element was mindfully constructed to weave together subtle nuances of legacy with the intricacy of couture.
Fine antique threads and vintage motifs were used to accentuate the subtle elegance of each outfit.
Dressed in one of the most stunning pieces from the collection, Bhatt looked nothing less than a princess. The beige and silver dress, with a long train, made the actress the star of the night.
Bhatt, 24, said it was her dream to walk for Malhotra, even before she made her Bollywood debut.
"The first time I ever attended Manish's show was at Delhi Couture Week. It was even before 'Student of the Year'. Katrina was walking and I was in the audience and I was like, 'Wow... One day I want to be that person walking on the ramp.' Thank you, Manish for making that dream come true."
"It does feel fantastic working with Manish every time. He is so inspiring. After so many years he still feels anxious backstage," the actress said.
Bhatt said the long train and high heels made her nervous about walking the ramp.
Malhotra’s collection was a combination of stunning pieces for both the bride and groom. While gowns, skirts and blouses, accentuated with trains and capes, dominated the bridal range; sherwanis and bandhgalas with heavy embroidery were featured in the groom’s section.
Singh, who is known for his experimental sense of style, was dressed in a blue sherwani with intricate gold embroidery.
The 32-year-old actor praised the designer for evolving with each passing year.
"There is a lot of prestige attached to walking for Manish Malhotra. 27 years... He is looking like a 27-year-old. He is fabulous and passionate. He is always trying to do something different and constantly growing, which is a mark of true creator," Singh said.
The collection involved a heavy dose of zari, mull work and embroidery. To make his long and heavy skirts comfortable, the designer placed cages under them.
The color palette was focused on pastels and champagne hues with hints of maroon. The designer said he decided to keep the colors subtle as his creations were dramatic in design and detail.
Manish's signature fringes and sequin work featured in the collection.