MANISH ARORA AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
For his Fall collection, Manish Arora wants people to know that “winter is coming”: The top that opened his show signaled those three words, banner-style, beneath a computer-generated owl. Of course, Game of Thrones aficionados will immediately point out that he’s nodding to the title of the show’s debut episode. And as source material, the fictional medieval land where the program takes place presented Arora with an excuse to explore darker, decadent territory. But because glitter, fuchsia hearts, Moon Boots, and baby backpacks are essentially his four elements, the outcome proved more space-age clan girl than an homage to Queen Cersei.
And this latest archetype proved convincing. The die-hard maximalist conjured up a heroine who rises in the morning and must decide between the sweatshirt emblazoned with sparkly irises, the harlequin diamonds interspersed with lightning bolts, or the one with faux-leather chain mail sleeves and foamy feather facsimiles. On an active day, she’ll wear hot pink velvet sweatpants; otherwise, she defaults to one of her many kilts—either the brocade or the kaleidoscopic botanical print—and some shimmery lattice legwear. Most importantly, she prizes her accessories, rotating a breastplate that traces her thoracic vertebrae with a raven perched on one shoulder. For evening, she tops a regal red dress with a timeless cape trimmed in gold thorns, and invariably carries a skull-shaped minaudière (the fruit-patterned one is her fave). While she has a weakness for rhino rings—all those feathers, chains, and spikes flatter her nose—she’ll hide behind a gilded gladiator mask after a late night.
Follow Arora for long enough, and you figure out his template: The same futuristic-folkloric nomad reappears in different settings, all rich with decorative possibility. Some of the wackiness proposed here will end up being watered down for retail. But the imagination and assembly required to reach this parallel world are what turn a highly detailed collection into a far-out trip.