Paris Editor Gabriela Billini
Paris Editor Gabriela Billini
Gabriela is a non-native New Yorker who travels the world to understand why people wear what they wear and how. She is an independent fashion reporter, trend chaser, and self-proclaimed beatnik.

Manish Arora Spring 2018: Paris Fashion Week

Manish Arora Paris Fashion Week

Represented by Totem Fashion.

The start of the show offered something far more delicate than we’re used to seeing from Arora. The soft and wispy hippie emerged in soft bohemian prints fit for a flower child who enjoys lounging around in tall grass fields.

Silhouettes remained conscious of the figure, though remained relaxed and wind-sweeping, and capable of holding up elegant embroidery and rainbows on silk, all at once.

fit for a flower child who enjoys lounging around in tall grass fields

I love how the designer graduated the bomber jacket for us, and made it look far more elegant and in neoprene for structure, comfort and easier to embellish. True to habit of the bomber, however, he kept the ribbed cuffs for that cool varsity edge. The use of neoprene really makes the collection utilitarian, considering the cool spring days and the high heat of summer; not to mention its water-friendly features.

Manish Arora Paris Fashion Week

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As the collection matured, we were made aware of the designer’s true intentions. That is, more of the strong prints, textured fabrics, and thick layers of shiny things. Naturally, this season’s signature was the sequin, used in a great chevron arrangement on too-cool bomber jackets, and even a fabulous gown that looked to come right out of a ’70s cartoon wonderland.

On the accessories front, the designer blessed the models with chain-fringed shoes, fur detailing and feathers galore, and didn’t quite stop there, either. Thin chained necklaces were draped around every model’s Amy Winehouse beehive updo, recalling that the love is in the details, and this free spirit considers every last detail.

This collection was designed for the young jet-setting woman living an elegant life but has a playful side and has no intentions of hiding it. She doesn’t like a fuss but wants no boring looks. She’s not quite ready to grow up. This is why the denim patchwork revival of the ’70s and ’90s is so attractive and appropriate! With playful slogans and bright glittery patches, who would dare resist?

designed for the young jet-setting woman living an elegant life

Later on, to close the collection, a couple of more serious looks were sent out, for those moments in which our lady needs to reemerge and mingle into the typical day-to-day. A more traditional Indian aesthetic was used with sari-like midi dresses worn under denim jackets, giving traditionally dressed Indian girls some encouragement and others more room to experiment. Is it cultural appropriation when we get a green light from Manish Arora?

Considering the blend of Middle Eastern motifs and Western bohemian style, I think the designer was playing at something bigger, blurring the lines of a country’s apparel identity, and advertising the intermingling of global cultures that lives right before us, every single day.

advertising the intermingling of global cultures that lives right before us

There was one particular orange cocktail dress intelligently designed with a capelet over the shoulders which made me want to wear it myself. The Indian embroidery was so stand-out and beautiful, I think everyone was pleased. Another piece I just loved was an elegant pink wrap skirt with bold, contrasting embroidery slightly tucked away for expectant eyes only. Then there was a particular tank that screamed Instagram ready, made of hand patches held together in an assortment of arrangements and held together by metal rights, showing a little skin and personality. I expect to see that tank all over the ‘gram by May.

The array of inspiring factors for this collection would lead one to think it could be poorly executed. The designer used Navajo, Indian, Aztec and Middle Eastern references, as well as American culture, and yet it came together so beautifully. With intention and determination, we see the complexities that stem from living in a modern world with travel and technology defining what our individual cultures are, all through clothing.

The collection took inspiration from close friend and muse, Noor Fares. The Manish Arora muse is not afraid to live, and her clothes are an extension of her personality. She will refuse conformist views, and lives her life as she pleases. Wherever she goes.


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With love,


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