Bollywood has all stepped into the fashion game as designers have learnt how to embrace the leading lights of the country, that are definitely their film stars and film stars in turn have embraced designers. Bollywood is more than just Manish Malhotra now; however he remains the designer closest to Bollywood’s heart. High fashion moments, big business and glitterati in the real sense of the world. This is how the business of fashion is unfolding in India, and we witnessed it as Manish Malhotra sent down his models on the runway alongside Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as his muse in Doha recently for an exclusive showcase.
Makeup by Nabila, sponsored by Alfardan Group, Salam, Qatar Airways and QTA, PR by Qanect, the event was organised by Fab Entertainment. Everything sorted to detail. Or was it? 
“We thank Manish Malhotra, Nabila, Karan Tacker and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in making FWI’18 a spectacular success. FAB’s strategy to bring in big international media names especially from India for this event to Qatar, which is another first, is in line with Qatar’s vision to embed its tourism footprint in India. There is a huge media buzz in India and internationally about Qatar’s tourism, potential promoted by FWI’18 and hosted by FAB. We are indeed very pleased with the outcome of FWI’18 Destination Doha.” said Fauzia Vohra, CEO Fab Entertainment, in a statement.
Well, Manish remains everyone’s best friend and they are there for him. The most well attended fashion show remains Manish Malhotra’s, even though he may not be the only designer for whom Bollywood celebs take to the runway. Intricate inlay craftsmanship is used to create his striking aesthetics. It’s just there, in his choice of fabric and textures, a myriad influences and how he mixes them all up to bring to the runway, an aesthetic rooted in India but still paying a nod or two or twenty to what’s happening everywhere else. 
His bridals weaved their usual magic spell, not because the choreography was so sharp or the models were walking fine, both being true though, but because the clothes on display were breathtakingly beautiful. His biggest triumph is his complete authority over luxe and excellent use of fabric – chiffon, taffetas, silk, net and lace. His trademark white sarees and red lehngas are now officially famous with that painstakingly intricate detailing in crystals, pearls, jaali work, resham, sequins and jewel tones. 
Typical, pretty yet well done. Manish brought traditional styles and contemporary cuts to his collection; worked in patterns, kora, dabka and mirror work. The lavish use of feathers and ruffles binging translated his take on couture lines. 
Manish Malhotra’s is the design aesthetic most people go for in India. Commercially viable pieces he creates? Hugely. This guy understands the market and definitely knew how many South Asian’s in Doha are going to attend his show – he just served right. Nothing too extravagant or nothing out of inch or lines. However, he did adapt to Middle Eastern culture featuring Kaftans with intricate embroideries in delicate tones. Manish’s volume was just right – nothing extra, just the perfect cuts. He knows where to stop and make a statement. 
The palette was warm that had a massive transition from gold and off-white to ice blue, mint green, fiery red and ombre ash. The bold embellishments, the over the top look, the ruffles, spiraled concoctions, sexy backless blouses and plunging necklines, all spoke of a decadent majestic era with romanticism taking the centre stage. His collection shifted from volumes and whites to linear silhouettes. The showcase concluded with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in an ombre pink gown with magnificent feel of couture that ended with dramatic ruffles. Bling bling and rhinestones.
It was great to see celebrities like Sophie Chaudhry, Bollywood actor, and Hamza Ali Abbasi and Azaan Sami, both Pakistani actors, in the front row together for Manish Malhotra. The fashion weekend was evidence that there is a potential of collaborative projects between both the countries, Pakistan and India, but is somebody going to take notice closely after Fauzia is the question. Please do! Because we want to see more wonder projects happening. It’s time people! 
Gorgeously constructed with cinched waists, voluminous skirts and plethora of tassels, feather couture and perfect rucking - a reminder of what a veteran and experienced fashion designer can do and how exciting bridals is.

Fashion weeks happen worldwide and there are always huge sponsors and celebrity appearances involved. If PR worldwide can manage front row seats for actual fashion people and media who need to review the clothes that are being showcased, so can you. Just try! It should never translate into doling out tickets to sundry for a ‘shashka’ and placing media seats in the last rows. It’s excruciating to review the intricate pieces showcased, from such a distance. Fashion is a serious business people. That needs to be controlled. Another thing, it’s ridiculous to roll out emails to media people to pick out their media badges at 2pm in the afternoon from the hotel that’s on one side of the city and then come back for the actual show. Whoops! Worldwide there’s always a desk outside the event that you get the badges from, or if you don’t want any hassle and keep it exclusive – drop of the invites and badges at the respective media outlets. 
Ebullient! Till next time.