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Bonjour Arora
By Dal Chodha
At a time when most Indian designers are sticking to kurtas and lenghas aimed mainly at the Bridal market, the collections of Manish Arora scream “Indian” but don’t patronise and most notably, have received worldwide praise.

His use of bright colours, hand work embroidery, intricate prints and fine fabrics is what we can only expect from an Indian designer, however the way Arora offsets these elements to illustrate his contemporary vision of today’s modern woman is what sets him apart from the crop of Indian designers designing only “Indian” clothes.

Graduating from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi in 1994, he won the “Most Creative Student” award for his final collection and set up his own label ‘Manish Arora’ in 1997

Ten years and a trunk load of accolades later, including “Best Women’s Prêt Designer”, awarded at the Indian Fashion Awards 2004, Arora’s most notable dose of praise has just come to light as The Fashion Design Council of India proudly announced that Arora will be showcasing his next collection at Paris Fashion Week this October 2007 in a bid to promote talent and to encourage collaborations amongst international fashion councils. “This is a moment of great pride for me as the first Indian designer to show at Paris Fashion Week. Showing there has been a dream and now that I have achieved it, I hope to keep the momentum going,” he told Wills Lifestyle.

This isn’t the first time Manish has carried the Indian fashion industry on his tailored shoulders. In January 2000, Arora represented India at Hong Kong Fashion Week and was the first Indian designer to work with international sportswear brand, Reebok. After showing at London Fashion Week for the last four seasons, the opportunity to show in Paris is a dream; many designers can only leave at that. As London waves goodbye to Arora, Paris’s welcoming will surely cast a brighter spotlight onto India as a fashion fore runner for more than just beads and bright colours.

Bonjour Arora, Bonjour India.

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