‘This is a pret collection’
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In Paris, where Manish Arora mostly works now, it would be blasphemous to show a retrospective in the middle of a couture week, when all other participating designers are putting up fresh, new collections. But with India's favourite export to the global fashion world currently home with time on his hands, an exception rode the ramp. Surprisingly, and in what must have come to avid fashion watchers as a big let-down, he showed his past "pret" collections at a couture week — taking the audience and the media for granted.
While the hype (which Arora cannot be entirely blamed for)had pumped up this show as his couture presentation for India, the press release handed out during his show on Friday at PCJ Delhi Couture Week, said the opposite. He thanked FDCI for "inviting him to showcase a retrospective of his collections from the Paris Fashion Week over the past five years". It also announced the shows' seasons, years and details from which he had curated this selection. Talked of as Arora's big homecoming, fashion followers were left to assume that he had his eye also on India. To his credit, the designer remained transparent about it. "I can't show during India fashion week as I have my hands full in Paris at that time," he said after the show. "When it's time for Indian pret week, I am busy showcasing my work in Paris," he reasserted. "This is not a comeback. I am still in Paris where I work," he said.
To a question on Indian couture, Arora answered, "There are rules of couture in the West. The clothes have to be handmade in pure fabrics with minimal use of machines. Here, in India, couture is more about designing clothes for festivity and special occasions," said Arora, and added, "This is a pret collection that I have shown during Couture Week. My couture label, otherwise, is Indian by Manish."
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