Fashion designer Manish Malhotra believes the coronavirus pandemic has led to a course correction in fashion industry, leading to an emphasis on quality over quantity and conscious designs. Malhotra, who has dressed almost all the big stars in Bollywood, said the lessons from the pandemic will continue to guide designers in the near future.
"I know times are tough but am hopeful that the eventual outcome will be a good one. Quality will be given precedence over quantity.
“The pandemic and its learnings have and will continue to lead to conscious designs and lesser productions – both of which are the need of the hour,” Malhotra told PTI over an email interaction.
With limited outings and sparse gatherings, the nature of demand has changed over the last seven months, the popular couturier said. “... so the focus on things that truly matter should be more. The future is all about being creative, curious and conscious,” he added.
Whether it was his intricate lehengas and kurtas in “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” that changed the way Indian weddings looked or his expansive collection 'Ruhaaniyat' that brings forth voluminous silhouettes and deft embroidery of Avadhi-Punjabi traditions, Malhotra has always married his designs with Indian traditional craft.
The new normal of Indian fashion, he predicted, will see a homecoming of sorts to our traditional roots. "Traditional craft will see a lot more focus and design houses will find newer ways to make it a part of their design narratives. For example, in our recent collections we’ve used silks, brocades and embroideries which were a part of our archival office. Sustainability, technology and Indian crafts are going to take the centrestage in fashion now,” the 53-year-old said.
With his experience of working in Bollywood and other cinema industries for three decades, Malhotra has seen fashion trends change, sometimes even being at the forefront of that change.
But at this point in his career he feels the conditions are better for the new generation of designers and stylists to “make it happen”.
“I would say it’s getting better today in fact, there are so many opportunities and platforms, plus there’s more awareness today. Earlier, it was more difficult. I think, if you’ve got the will and passion, you will make it happen,” he said.
Malhotra is currently appearing as the judge on Myntra Fashion Superstar, a reality show for fashion influencers, which he feels is a an excellent platform for not just “the participants but also millions who watch them, to take inspiration, to collate their own ideas of what they think makes a statement and even come forward with creations”.