Review | Collection

Manish-Malhotra-_aicw_2015_amazon_india_fashion_week_couture_runway_lehenga_designerWhen it comes to bridal and evening wear, Manish Malhotra simply does not do simple. He is a trendsetter, no doubt whatsoever. A trendsetter of western and ethnic fashion alike. And when it’s Manish Malhotra in couture week, you can expect elaborate. But when the theme is “The Empress Story” promising to be reminiscent of the 50s, we’re thinking delicate detailing and jeweled intricate threadwork at its best.

Manish Malhotra’s collection ‘The Empress Story’ was the finale of Amazon India Couture Week. Held on Day 5, the show had Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai as the showstopper.

In the words of Manish Malhotra, “With ‘The Empress Story’, I return to my love for timeless aesthetics and structure along with fine craftsmanship that has taken months to translate onto fabric. All the elements in the collection do speak a common, universal language of elegance and élan. Much like the power of femininity, these will never go out of style.”


Manish-Malhotra-_aicw_2015_amazon_india_fashion_week_couture_brown_gown_mask_gownBut the collection was a mix of traditional royal with modern elements, in a jumble of unmatched royal historic style references, making it difficult to place their inspiration. A gown, for example, with a belt that had Egyptian flower motifs was paired with a Venetian mask. A silk gown with traditional gold 50s threadwork was paired with a modern street-style inspired fringed clutch.

Other silhouettes in the Manish Malhotra collection encompassed Indian outfits like lehenga choli and some were modern such as a red sleeveless gown with plunging neckline and gold threadwork. Some elegant, some unflattering. The most disappointing was Bollywood actress and showstopper Aishwarya Rai’s gown. Wine colored with pale gold embroidery and a jacket was unflattering for her figure and may have done more justice in another color palette.


What the collection lacked in traditional theme interpretation, it made up for in some fresh silhouettes and accessories. The fresh looks in the mix were embroidered tunics with matching, loose trousers and collared embroidered tunics with solid, matching cigarette pants, one of which was gorgeous and sophisticated. Another beauty was a dusty purple silk gown with the aforementioned fringed clutch.

The color palette of the Manish Malhotra collection was an unusual mix – wine, silver, rose, teal, cream, reds. Jewelry included drop earrings, layered necklaces, statement bracelets and showstopper rings. The statement bracelets from this show are going to be the next it-thing on the wedding and party scene. However, the makeup could use some work. Perhaps a bit toning down of over-contoured cheeks. I guess there are certain levels this trendsetter needs to transcend.

Manish Malhotra: Autumn Winter 2015 Couture Gallery


Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That's how it evolved over centuries and that's how it's been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives. Shilpa's work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times. Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book "Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India". Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email