The message reached my inbox a couple of days ago asking me to RSVP for the unveiling of Manish Malhotra’s Diffuse, on Friday, at FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week. On the day of the show, I was asked not to flash around my pass! There was a huge queue outside the Runway show area at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi, with just one query: ‘Did you get your pass?!’ Yes, like always, the MM show was a sold-out affair and the build-up to it was reminiscent of a big film.
And, the “young and unique” Diffuse took the ramp just like a blockbuster with spilling aisles bearing testimony to the highly anticipated show.
Manish reinvented his aesthetics to send out a Gen Z line comprising 82 looks, high on both glamour and comfort. Diffuse was a play of majorly colourful prints and textures, creating almost a psychedelic mood board.
The designer explored a whole gamut, touching upon all aspects of leisure. You could be travelling or lounging around and of course partying. There were hints of athleisure and hip-hop.
Then came dollops of the MM signature — glitter and shimmer, oozing sexy and how! Separates, suits, jackets, slit gowns, suit dresses….
A mosaic-printed skirt on Lakshmi Rana and a cape sari on Candice Pinto were the heroes of the evening for us. As was the black-and-gold series, a stunner.
“It’s been 32 years at the movies and 16 years to the label and I have been working on this for four years. When we got it going last year after three years of working on it, we did a shoot in January and when I saw the clothes, there was a reaction and I felt this was what I always wanted to do.
Everything about it was different from what I have been doing through the 16 years of the brand. Diffuse is an important part of the journey from now on,” Manish said at the post-show press conference.
Actors Siddhant Chaturvedi and Shanaya Kapoor made their ramp debut with Diffuse.
Now, that made it three-in-one.
The Telegraph bytes…
There couldn’t be a better name for this collection. What were your initial thoughts… though it makes business sense, were you still skeptical about letting go?
Diffuse has a distinguished identity of its own now, yet it aligns perfectly with the spirit of my main line. I made sure with months of research and curation, my new segment meets all the business standpoints — design integrity, an independent product brief, and a different pricing structure. However, I am really grateful with such great reviews coming my way.
It’s a new Manish… what’s the key to reinvent yourself and stay relevant?
Relevance is about doing things creatively my way and having immense faith in the same. Diffuse, a youthful celebratory line was brought to life with the required efforts and my long-standing experience. The oscillation between couture and diffusion came with a lot of planning, research, and, most importantly, a shift in the mindset of the entire team working on it. That’s when the brand’s alter ego was manifested and amplified in every design.
Did Manish have tips for you?
When we were doing the rehearsals, he just told me and Siddhant to have fun. Walking alongside Siddhant is so much fun… his personality, his vibe is so much fun and out there… just walking with him also made it much easier. It was a very cool experience. I honestly felt myself wearing his clothes. Manish’s collection Diffuse is about the youth, young couture and breaking the pattern and doing something different. That represents my style very well.
What’s your personal style?
Fashion to me is all about my identity and who I am. I felt comfortable wearing his clothes.
The most glamorous movie star ever…
Ranveer Singh. All-time favourite will be him.
Tell us about your ramp debut!
This is the first time I am walking and she is walking. You got to see both of us together before her debut and she was so good and looking so pretty and I hope we get to do a film together very soon.
Manish said just have fun guys… the label is about being cool and fun. I totally vibe with it.
What do you love about Manish Malhotra?
I have always loved him. I always wanted to walk for him and I debuted with him… couldn’t have been better. The vibe totally syncs in with my style… the music, the beats, the cool clothes and the accessories… minimal yet noticeable. I am loving it. I think I am going to sleep in these. They are very comfortable. In my personal style, I really like to keep it simple but when I am going for an event, I like to spike it up a little bit.
Who would you pick as your favourite glamorous movie stars ever?
Harry Styles, Ranbir Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.
Pictures: Sandip Das