Kashmir on the ramp!


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, March 11 -- Manish Malhotra is all set to show off his latest designs at the Lakme Fashion Week tomorrow. And the focus is on traditional Indian craft, primarily Kashmiri.

Bollywood's leading costume designer was in the Valley recently for the shoot of Imtiaz Ali's Ranbir Kapoor-starrer, Rockstar, and has returned to Mumbai swooning over the local embroidery and the colours used.

"I will put Kashmir back on the ramp and then return to work with local embroiders on future shows," says Malhotra, who this year will also be playing mentor to 45 girls from a small village in Uttar Pradesh, Mijwaan, and promises that his LFW collection will have the best of chikankari and Rajasthani gota work too.

The two-part show will include menswear and womenswear in Indian silhouettes, revolving around the colour scheme of ivory, aqua green and powder blue. Malhotra insists that in the last couple of years, his male designs have caught on in a big way, particularly since Hrithik Roshan and Ranbir Kapoor walked the ramp in sherwanis.

"There will be a lot of Jodhpuris and dhoti pants and of course, the bandhgala. I want the bandhgala to eventually replace the suit on the red carpet, the way traditional Indian womenswear has," he says, pointing out that while other designers have showcased village craftsmanship in a traditional manner, he would like to make it contemporary and glamorous, putting it on a global platform.

Malhotra will have 40 models walking for him but no Bollywood showstoppers. He agrees that he started the trend of getting star models. "But whether it was Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan), Kareena (Kapoor) or Urmila (Matondkar), Shah Rukh (Khan) or Saif (Ali Khan), they were my friends who wore my designs in reel life and real. That's not the case with most other designers who use them only for their shows. So this year, I decided that my star friends will be my guests and my designs will be my showstoppers."