'An Affaire to Remember'
Manav Gangwani's show 'An Affaire to Remember' was just that. With glamour on the ramp and glitz brought in by the bunch of B'wood celebs sitting alongside, whoever expected anything lesser than that!
This time, Manav Gangwani perhaps outperformed himself even. Not to say that his collection is any less glamorous at other times, but the one he put together at the Pearls Infrastructure Delhi Couture Week, was notches above. The show that was a pack of bling, shimmer, glitz and glamour, all wound into one, remained the talk of the evening. And among the sky-high praisers included the host of stars who had descended to cheer their friend, which included Dia Mirza, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Zayed Khan with wife Mallika and father Sanjay Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Nikhil Dwivedi, Jacqueline Fernandez, Aftab Shivadasani and Sophie Chowdhury.
Theme: Inspired by the 1960 classic 'An Affair to Remember' Manav's show, titled the same, was dedicated to the modern woman of today. "It's actually dedicated to someone very special in my life, who unfortunately couldn't be here today. I won't name her but this show was for her," said Manav, adding, "As for the collection, it's for that independent woman of today, who has a mind of her own, is sensuous, is bold and makes a statement with her style and clothes."
Collection: With a confident sensual woman being the inspiration for the show, the collection was an incomparable amalgamation of clothes that were dressy, sexy, formal, extremely elaborate, rich and high on opulence. And like Manav said that for himself, "I'm a bling man. I love bling so my dresses got to be high on them, coz it's all about making a statement. And I want that when one wears my label, it can be spotted from far. Every garment of mine is one that emphasizes on a woman's attitude, a personality no one can overlook." And the collection was indeed such.
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Silhouette: Elegant saris with fitting blouses, artfully draped anarkalis, to scintillating extremely voluminous gowns and skirts, fish-cut lehengas with long tail.
Detailing: In one word, while the collection could be termed flamboyant, in real it was a true mix of glamour, show and style. While a few dresses highlighted woman's grace and feminity on one hand, on the other they emphasized on woman's sensuality and her sex appeal. The rounds changed, the colours changed and so did the mood. From bright silver to deep grey in one, switched to another round of bright blue to shades to dark blue and purple. And just as you sat gazing at the opulence and colours, came the third round with red changing to shades of dark and then light pink. And finally, with a full bloom of confetti falling from the top the final round was in bright gold with experiment done with a full Swarovski studded gown worn over a shimmery two piece bikini by a model. And need we say, she was quite a head turner.
Also, true to Manav's distinctive style, this entire collection was exquisitely embroidered with Indian motifs, rich workmanship and lavish use of swarovski.
Embellishments: Swarovski made for most of the embellishments used. Beyond that rich embroidery in gold accentuated and added to the bling factor.
Fabric: A host of opulent fabrics were used to dramatise the garments like sequin sheeted nets, luxurious lush satins, French lame, sheer laces and velvet.
Accessories: Manav left no aspect untouched. And so use of accessories was also as lavish as anything else. Each dress was paired with a matching huge head gear made of cloth, strings, peacock feather and more, dramatizing the whole feel indeed. "The idea was to make it as significant as possible. And I think these head gears, designed by Little Shilpa and myself, managed to do just that," said a confident Manav.
Glitzy first row: Half of the B'wood seemed to have come down for the show with the first row full of just these celebs. They included Dia Mirza, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Zayed Khan with wife Mallika and father Sanjay Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Nikhil Dwivedi, Jacqueline Fernandez, Aftab Shivadasani, Sophie Chowdhury, Priya Chatwal and designer Ritu Kumar. Rajiv Sen, Sushmita Sen's brother was there too, who however chose to sit in the second row.
Designer talks: Calling himself a 'bling man', Manav insisted, "Bling is for people who can afford it and also wear it with confidence. Bling makes a statement and that's what couture is all about, right?" So when asked what does couture actually mean to the man who had just made a statement with his designs on the ramp, Manav said, "For me couture is something that's one-off, made to order and very very select. And I think each dress of mine was such that's out there for people to notice – a showstopper in every sense!"
Ask him about not bringing in a B'wood showstopper and he says, "I didn't want any B'wood actress to be my showstopper. Noyonika Chatterjee has been my showstopper for many years and was the one this time also. And I think that makes more sense."
And he said pompously answering the approximate price of his most expensive dress, as he said, "I don't make dresses for people who have to see the price before buying a dress."