Manish Arora was on home territory today, mining the myriad flourishes of
dress and personal decoration to be found in the Indian subcontinent.
Jewelry was the real star of this season, and lots of it. The designer
has teamed up with Amrapali—known for its fine jewels—to introduce
a joint jewelry collection. Here there was a combination of the ancient
and contemporary, resulting in a place where diadems might seem perfectly
realizable for the everyday. But that, it seems, is Manish Arora's world,
one of graphic delineation, flights of fancy, and fulsome flourishes.
Still, there were plenty of amazing bracelets and necklaces to choose
from if you are not a diadem person. The problems came when the jewelry
appeared as photo-printed patterns on the clothing, detracting and
distracting from the actual jewels rather than bouncing off them in a
more surrealist manner—which seemed the intention. Much more successful
was when embroidery and appliqué were used; the excess seemed to work,
but then it just wouldn't stop.
If a collection ever needed editing and defining, this was it. There were
possibly three, four, five bases for collections here. And so many technical
flourishes that bravura became blah. If only Arora worked with one of the
great stylists—he might achieve a very different effect.