He began his career in fashion designing nine years ago with the costumes of Juhi Chawla in Swarg. Today, he’s almost synonymous with costume-designing in Hindi cinema...

He revolutionized the fashion scene in Hindi cinema with his unique approach of working out the entire look for the character as opposed to just the garments. His tenure as a costume-designer has seen him clothe most of the leading actresses in the film industry from Sridevi, Urmila Matondkar, Karisma Kapoor, Kajol, Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala, Madhuri Dixit, Twinkle Khanna and Shilpa Shetty to Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta. Although he doesn’t design regularly for male actors, he has attired Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan on special occasions.

Manish Malhotra’s list of films includes several blockbusters since Rangeela, where he metamorphosised Urmila Matondkar into a raging sex symbol. He repeated the magic with Karisma Kapoor and changed her image through Raja Hindustani. From Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Khamoshi, Hero No 1, Judaai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai, Hum Saath Saath Hai to Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Mast, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Satya, Dhadkan, Mohabbatein and Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai, most of the successful films in this decade boast of Malhotra’s name in the credits.

His career in costume designing is paved with several awards such as the Filmfare Award for Urmila Matondkar’s costumes in Rangeela, the Showtime Opinion Poll Award for his look for Karisma Kapoor in Raja Hindustani, the Siemen’s Viewer’s choice Award for Dil To Pagal Hai, the Lux-Zee Cine Award and the Bollywood Award in New York for his work in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. He has also been graced with the Indira Priyadarshini Memorial Award for his contribution to the fashion industry, felicitated by National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi and the Indo-American Society for his contribution to fashion designing, presented with the Elle Style Awards in 1999 for the most Stylish Designer of the year. Adding to his booty were two more awards which he won for Mohabbatein which were the Zee Cine Award and IIFA Award for the year 2000.

After a brilliant innings in films, Manish Malhotra decided to branch into mainstream designing in 1998 with his hi-profile culture store, Reverie. The store received a tremendous response and his clientele featured the cream of hi-society in Mumbai from Tanya Godrej, Tina Ambani, Haseena Jethmalani, Rhea Pillai and Avanti Birla to the NRI community overseas. He has done several wedding trousseaus for reputed families. His popularity soared during the period when he has exclusively asked to design clothes for Michael Jackson for his appearance during the Bollywood Awards held in New York. The outfit was a hit and he was asked once again by Jackson to design outfits for his show in Munich. After the show, he was requested by Jackson to design a couple of outfits for his children.

Malhotra’s first fashion show held in November 1999 was a talked about event for months to come. The clothes were received with great appreciation and almost 70 per cent of them were sold out within three weeks. Malhotra created a coup of sorts by having Urmila Matondkar walk the ramp for his show as a showstopper, an act followed by several designers for their shows later. A part of his collection was the embroidered denim wear that became a rage all over the city. Even Naomi Campbell, who was on a visit to the city, picked up a pair which, caught her fancy.

Today, after being the only designer in the country to manage the delicate balance between films and mainstream designing, Malhotra, in association with Sheetal Design Studio, plans to conquer further horizons in the fashion industry.

Manish Malhotra and Sheetal Design Studio (SDS) unveiled “The Enchanted Ensemble” on July 24 with special showings hosted at SDS, Grant Road, Mumbai.

“The Enchanted Ensemble” is Manish Malhotra’s new Pret collection, the seeds of which were sown while browsing through that evergreen romance of William Shakespeare’s: A Midsummer Nights’ Dream “I was charmed by the play’s sense of whimsy and rhyme, of freedom and flowering. This collection comes with all the breeziness and romance of a Shakespearean work,” says Manish speaking about The Enchanted Ensemble.

In keeping with SDS’s Design Philosophy: Cutting edge fashion that is international in its appeal, globally relevant in its style and yet, innately Indian in essence, The Enchanted Ensemble is a striking demonstration of world culture not merely influencing but filtering through a designer’s consciousness, creating in the process, a product that is still distinctively Indian.

SDS is further extending its design philosophy to include other art forms (art, literature, music, drama) besides fashion. ‘‘The Enchanted Ensemble’’ has emerged from this philosophy and is a novel experience where two distinct artistic influences have merged together in one voice.

According to Mr. Dhiren Shah, CEO, SDS, “We are committed to create a genre of clothes that embrace a global aesthetic but yet have an Indian spirit. The enchanted Ensemble is a reinstatement of our belief that fashion is the expression of an artistic inspiration.”

The Enchanted Ensemble is a collection resplendent with delicate embellishments and embroidered floral motifs, punctuated vividly with beads and shimmering sequins. A dream woven out of poetry and passion.

Sensual crepes, georgettes, nets and silks, traditional khadi and jute create sheer drama with intricate chikanwork, elegant cutwork and iridescant sequins, reshamwork and asymmetric embroidered patches. Short kurtas with stoles, hip length tops, loose knit shirts, silk corsets and lycra trousers speak a language of modern, unconventional silhouettes with an Indian soul. The colour pallete enthralls with all the hues of the rainbow and pleasant pastels. Immaculate detailing and superb finish complete the picture of radiant yet avant-garde sophistication.

For Men, Manish has created kurtas, kurta shirts, full shirts, short shirts, jackets and drawstring pants, the accent being on hip style and comfort. Cool pastel hues and neutrals like greys, beiges, offwhites, blacks and white teamed with patchpockets, overlocked raw edges, bold necklines and spray painting make the collection a study in confidence and absolute manstyle. Cottons, linens and sheer fabrics add a touch of understated glamour to the pret line for men. Superb finish, cuts and detailing enhance the looks the strong, individualistic and yet sensitive Man.

Models Reshma Bombaywalla, Waluscha D’Souza, Shamita, Majid, Niketan Madhok and Shabbir Ali walked the in-store ramp in Manish Malhotra’s creations. “The Enchanted Ensemble for SDS presents fashion in its purest sense... providing an experience that touches your mind, body and soul — clothes that make you look good and feel divine,” adds Manish.

This holistic approach to design reflects in all the minimalistic creations at SDS. The affordable and imaginatively designed garments at SDS push the limits of creative expression by tastefully bringing together the best of Ethnic and Western design trends. SDS stores offer clothes that are absolutely unrivalled in their category — uniformly chic and impeccably finished, created by one of the most inspired design teams. The design aesthetic is reflected seamlessly in the cuts, falls, embellishments and the styles of each outfit. The inherent artistry always discreetly visible.

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