As always, it was fun and games at Manish Arora where his maximalism streak ran riot. Entitled Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, this season the designer expectantly sidled into new territory, this time introducing sportswear influences into his kitsch opulent repertoire, rendered in a palette of powdery pastels and vibrant fluoros.
That these sportswear references were literal was down to a collaboration with Paris’ national football club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG): the faces of star players like Mbappé and Silva, illustrated in patchwork day-glo appliqué and metallic bugle beads, surfaced on crisp white tees and denim jackets. The PSG logo also appeared on bomber jackets, socks, and tracksuits; an intricate zardozi crest, featuring Neymar’s face, was splashed on an oversized windbreaker with panels of foiled magenta, lime green, and iridescent blue. Footwear was also sporty: the witty designer reimagined football boots as alluring, neon-PVC stilettos.
‘80s glamour was another trope for Arora. Mini-dresses with oversized puffed sleeves and ostentatious frills filled the runway, while gigantic bows at the waist were used to exaggerate proportions. A thriller-inspired jacket adorned with pink sequin hearts, tucked into a satin thigh-split skirt with ruffle details, left no doubt about his inspiration, also seen in lipsticks, roller skates, and cocktail motifs paying homage to the work of fashion illustrator, Antonio Lopez.
Manish Arora is nothing if not heavy-handed: As if icing a gateau, outfits are finished with heavy embellishments; see the powder blue dress with hearts, rosettes and pearls – sweet enough to top a wedding cake and even comes with a matching three-tiered cake bag for added extravagance. The only note of authentic reflection could be seen in the dotted circle prints used in the designer’s first Paris collection; here they are presented as stitch thread work on pencil skirts and floor-length gowns adding a touch of constraint to the outing.
Below, watch ORDRE's fashion director, Kirsten Lock, interview Manish Arora in Paris.