Indian Express: You can take designer Manish Malhotra out of Bollywood, but you can’t take Bollywood out of Manish Malhotra. Film fraternity’s favourite designer — who has dressed up some of the most beautiful women in the world inlcuding Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor — says Bollywood is something that “comes naturally” to him. In Pune to launch his first-ever collection at the multi-designer store Rudraksh, Malhotra says, “This year, I’m going to expand my label to all the cities that I haven’t explored. Starting from Pune, I plan to launch my collections in Nagpur and Hyderabad as well.”
Looking dapper in a black bandh-gala and tapered pants, Malhotra touched upon a range of topics from the business of fashion, to films and charitable trusts. “The reason I took so long to come to Pune is because I was too caught up with films and fashion weeks. I have been working with Bollywood for the past 23 years, and my own label is almost seven years old. Doing so many things, I sort of lost track of time,” he jokes, sitting in the plush lobby of Taj Vivanta at Koregaon Park, waiting for his show to begin.
Malhotra’s fashion show had all the glitz and glamour that was expected out of him, sans a show-stopper. He showcased his signature styles, like his popular work inspired by Kashmir and Indian evening wear collection from Mizwan Welfare Society, Shabana Azmi’s NGO in Uttar Pradesh. Chikankari, heavily embellished lehengas and long anarkali suits and pants-cum-lehenga like the one Kareena Kapoor wore in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham caught many buyers’ eyes. Even the colour palette hinted at Bollywood romance — lilacs, pinks, fresh pista greens and rose reds flirted with creams, whites and warm browns. Malhotra’s collection of sherwanis and bandhgalas marked the beginning of designer garments for men at Rudraksh.
On his agenda next is a collection to be showcased in the last week of February at Grosvenor House Hotel in London for Angeli Foundation, a charity that works to empower girl child in India. “It’s my way of giving back,” he says.
Talking about his future Bollywood projects, Malhotra says, “I’m working on Krrish 3 with Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra, Once Upon a Time In Mumbai–2 and dressing up Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor for Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, apart from a bunch of other projects — enough to keep me busy throughout the year,” he says. But Malhotra takes Bollywood seriously and says he would also like to try his hand at film direction. “I’ve always toyed with the idea of directing a dance musical. Even my favourite designer Tom Ford ventured into direction. Maybe, I should follow,” he says.