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Manish Malhotra on what to expect at his Lakme Fashion Week opener at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio.

POWDER blue. Bollywood’s darling, Manish Malhotra, is calling the shots once again when it comes to the colour du jour at Lakme Fashion Week’s Summer/Resort 2016. Plus, by setting his show, the festival opener, offsite at the extremely photogenic Mehboob Studio, he is once again underlining the importance of  venue for a dramatic fashion story. Evidently, the collection titled Elements is inspired by nature and will feature a long train of gently sparkling summer gowns. There will also be the mandatory lehenga with structured tops. Organza, tussar and crepe will work with blended cotton (with satin), in various pastel hues, with architectural cuts. There will be a line for grooms too. “It is an innovative and global collection and can go anywhere,” says Malhotra, 49, who clearly knows his clients and their propensity to travel.
All in one
Malhotra, who is flying between several assignments as usual, is also busy with Karan Johar’s Aishwarya Rai- and Anushka Sharma-starrer, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. He may be costume designer, mainstream designer, stylist to jetsetting stars, and the man with the biggest fashion store in the country, but the designer says he still feels like a newcomer before a show. Setting trends is a habit. “Last year I introduced the crop top and skirt,” he says, reminding us that it was he who also kickstarted the Bollywood showstopper concept at fashion shows. “I recall when I did my first show in 1999 at Taj Chambers in Mumbai and Urmila Matondkar walked the ramp for me. It was about Rangeela, our work together and very emotional.” The self-confessed workaholic goes on to describe the stark white setting for his show at Mehboob Studios next week. It will be a night to remember. And in December, he will open his first store in London. Consider it his ‘50th birthday’ present to himself. March 29. Live on Periscope.

— Rosella Stephen

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