Manish Arora Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week
Nothing quite prepares you for a blue Pomeranian—even when you remember him as being purple last season. But Fluffy the dog was one of many reprised ingredients that went into Manish Arora’s runway recipe for happiness. A choker fronted with a fried egg, rainbow-striped creepers, and My Little Pony imagery were others. The designer explained that the Fall show left him wondering whether he could serve up an even bigger helping of his signature joie de vivre. The main difference for Spring: layering vintage and future flavors, which he attained by arbitrarily mixing archetypes from the 1950s through ’70s. Reduced, restyled, and seasoned with a liberal amount of escapism, the looks ranged from cosmic schoolgirl to Ziggy Stardust housewife.
Because Arora always indulges in fantasy ornamentation, the washed-denim varsity jackets and psychedelic circle patterns from Indian artist Bharti Kher made the freshest statements. An off-white dressy sweat suit embroidered with flowers cleansed the palate towards the halfway mark. A new grouping of couture confections in vivid hues conveyed Arora’s appreciation for classic beauty—but the best part was how he dressed them down with sports jackets and sneakers, thus closing the show with kick. An all-inclusive “cast of shiny happy people” (with guest appearances by Blanca Li, singer Bishi, and Pandemonia, an anonymous personage from London known for her latex doll disguise) contributed to his ebullient brew. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Arora doesn’t address deeper notions of wearing happiness versus being happy—which is why these clothes seem better suited as wardrobe stimulants for a trip to Burning Man than day-in-day-out dressing. Someone, ask the blue dog how he feels.