It’s the 1970s. Mainstream Hindi films are writing and rewriting chapters of Indian culture with every blockbuster. This is the era of the angry young man, the romantic superstar, gun wielding villains and the heroic son who swore vengeance.
But something’s amiss. It’s all about the archetype male; from aspiration to inspiration, the buffet of cinematic glory only belongs to the actors. It’ll be a while before mainstream Hindi cinema offers its actresses the distinction they deserve.
It’s now the 90s. The era of the angry young man is long gone. It’s now the era of the lovesick leading man who yearns for his beloved. For the first time in mainstream Hindi films, moviegoers leave the theatre smitten by the actress. The men replace their idea of a lover with the actress they see on the screen and the women aspire to look like the said actress.
Something had changed.
How actresses in mainstream Hindi films were presented was no longer the same.
The phenomenon of Manish Malhotra had begun to make its mark in the country’s biggest cultural juggernaut: the movies.
To refer to Manish Malhotra as only a costume designer would be an injustice to the impact he has had on not just cinema but also on our lives. In his designs, there’s a vision that’s as unique as the narrative of the film it’s serving. This is the vision of a filmmaker who navigates the chaos of creativity, culture and art to create a character that stays with us long after the film is over.
In his varied career of over three decades, his presentation of the Indian bride has become his signature stamp and for good reason. Carving out the perfect bridal look for various films has left its indelible mark on our culture. Women across the globe harbour the dream of looking like a ‘Manish Malhotra bride’. With wide dreamy eyes, people flock to the theatres, stand in line for hours at his fashion shows to see how a master meticulously designs and present his idea of the perfect bride.
The mark of his creative vision was first seen on the reel bride but over the last 3 decades, has completely flooded the aspirations of real brides.
From his signature veils, trails, embellishments and crafts like Zardosi, Chikankari to his use of exclusive artisanal jewellery, Manish Malhotra has a way of making real life brides look cinematic. In his search for perfection, he often stumbles upon a look that almost seems too good to be true, a look that not only attracts but also empowers. And that is the magical touch of Manish Malhotra. That’s his storytelling. It makes you see more than what meets the eye. Any filmmaker who has worked with him knows the impact of his magical touch.
Manish Malhotra recently released Khaab’s latest bridal collection. Aptly named Khaab, this collection is the story of how Manish Malhotra’s search for perfection has showered reel and real life brides with his magic and how the Indian bride got the due of her beauty through the vision of a maverick creative genius.
Through ‘Khaab’, Manish Malhotra reimagines the Indian bride with his lens of cinematic couture. This is a testament to his love for cinema and how it has transcended time and place to become a part of our lives. In Manish Malhotra’s hand, every stroke of chiffon, every bit of Zardosi has a purpose. The Khaab bridal collection is as attractive as it is empowering for the Indian bride. The bride that was once non-specific in our films, is now the embodiment of pride, power and passion.
The ‘Khaab’ of Manish Malhotra’s dreams is now for everyone to see.