With fabric as the raw material of fashion and the
eyes and skin as interface receptors, surface plays
a dual role. Visual and tactile in nature, a surface
can seduce the touch, communicate quality, and
caress the wearer with its inside. Internal and
external surfaces give two sides to a fashion
story. Ideally, nothing is left wanting on either
plane. There is nothing worse than wear-
ing an itchy or scratchy, irritating or stifling
fabric next to the skin. Fabric selection is the
foundation of a design. Even tags, under-
wires, bones, and closures can be irritating.
Quality seam finishes, padding, and linings
make a difference on the inside.
Outside surface is functional and aes-
thetic, while also involving inherent associa-
tions connected to the fabric used. Individual
taste can dictate the aesthetic interplay of
surfaces, but function can play a leading role.
(continued on page 188)
Manish Arora’s surface interest; innova-
tive, experimental shaping and color; and
cultural references and mixes stand out,
intentionally. He designs for a woman who
wants to be noticed, and he is popular with
performing artists and public figures.
Born in India, he graduated from the
National Institute of Fashion Technology in
New Delhi in 1994 with the “best student”
award, going on to launch and show his first
collection in 1997. Recognized as India’s
Rising Star of Indian Fashion, in 2000 he
showed at the first India Fashion Week ever,
in New Delhi.
In 2001, he launched a diffusion line
called Fish Fry, then in 2004 he expanded
this to include contemporary sportswear
for Reebok. The same year, he was also
featured in the exhibit “Global Local” at
the Victoria and Albert Museum in London,
which focused on the impact of globaliza-
tion on contemporary Indian design.
Manish admits that his Indian roots
give him an edge and capability to do
incredible artisanal embroideries, appli-
qués, beading, and textiles that can only
be found in India. He values joy and di-
version in fashion and creates fashion for
those who don’t want to blend into a crowd.
At the same time, he says that the aspect
of Indian beauty that he most admires is
that the women seem unaware of their
amazing beauty.
In 2005, he debuted in London Fash-
ion Week, and by 2006, seventy-five stores
worldwide were carrying his line. In Octo-
ber 2007, he was invited by Didier Grum-
bach to show at Paris Fashion Week and
collaborated with Japanese, American, and
Indian artists to design his collection.
In 2011, Arora was appointed creative
director of Paco Rabanne in Paris, for which
Bright colors in reflective
hues have more impact when
paired with matte shades and
smoky layers. Flat wovens,
sheers, and built-up, hand-
crafted textures make these
pieces precious and varied.
Barcelona, Spain
Manish Arora
Brilliantly colored silks;
strong, sculpted silhouettes;
and rich hand embroidery
are different facets that
build Arora’s rich, showy
aesthetic that blends
tradition with innovation.
he designed two collections. He was rec-
ognized as the Clover Group Outstanding
Fashion Innovator at the WGSN Fashion
Awards 2011.
A lover of fantasy who wants to make
people happy, his fashion shows are enter-
taining, opulent, and outrageous, but his
garments are quality pieces, handmade in
ateliers in his native India not only for show,
but because he also loves craft. He wants
his clothes to be functional yet seen as art.
His colors may be seen as Indian, but he
maintains that regardless of his culture, he
is a lover of color.
His unique style is worn by Selena Go-
mez, Katy Perry, Heidi Klum, Lady Gaga,
M.I.A., Britney Spears, and Rihanna, among
others. He has also collaborated on many
design projects with many labels, includ-
ing MAC cosmetics, Swatch, dressing the
pillars of the Paris Bourse building dur-
ing Fashion Week spring/summer 2009,
Swarovski crystals, chocolates, pastry (for
Café de la Paix, Paris), espresso machines,
a fiftieth-anniversary Barbie, and an Ab-
solut Vodka dress, among others. He has
designed capsule collections for 3 Suisses
catalog and Monoprix in France.

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