Manish Arora Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2016 Paris
While guests arrived at the Manish Arora show in the Faust restaurant nestled in the pillar of the Alexander III bridge, the words “Disco Gipsy” scrolled past on the overhead light installation, hinting at what to expect. It was slightly alarming to find a filtering face mask, albeit decked out in his colorful designs.
This being the Indian designer, there was no notion of his collection being an understated parable of tasteful inspiration distilled on a chic aspirational wardrobe. You get what is advertised, and then some. Unabashedly colorful, it was the high voltage version of summer dressing, spelling the designer's leitmotif so boldly you can see it from outer space: clothes are fun.
Out came the 1001 nights of disco: off the shoulder tiered ruffles dresses, red mirror jackets, sequins that just don't quit – done in degrade, they were fantastic in definition and technical feat – gorgeous kaftans and tassels scarves that are sure to fly off the shelves. Another potential top seller, should they make the retail floor, was the sheer henna tattoo t-shirts. The Indian designer never met a color he didn't like, putting the color range of the overhead light banks to the test. Arora name-checked the most glamorous disco queens – and a few Velvet Underground, Roxy Music guys – of all ages, and still managed to cinch inspiration and cultural appropriation. Cropped tops had something of the sari in them, and the paisley earrings distinctly nodded to their origin. The colors – saturated, pure, and unadulterated – spoke of the vivid palette of his homeland.
That being said, as exuberant as they were, the clothes adhered to being "happy fashion," a particular trope that makes them still feel fresh when, after being retired for a season or five, they are (re)discovered. Viewing clothes as pure entertainment retains value over time and require energy to keep off the ground. Legendary model Debra Shaw working the runway – and getting plastered all over town in Arora's fall campaign – was proof of that.