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‘Indian government should recognize fashion as a form of art’

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By Nivedita

The Indian government must appreciate the talent of fashion designers like the French government does, says Manish Arora, who at 43 has been conferred the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest civilian award, by the French government.

Known for working with a riot of colors, psychedelic prints and for producing kitschy designs that have been loved the world over — sitarist Anoushka Shankar flaunted his creation at the 58th Grammy Awards ceremony — Arora has been in the designing profession for over 15 years.

Expressing his joy on the honor, Arora told IANS: “I am quite happy that the French could recognize somebody from India for this level in the field of fashion.

“I am the first Indian ever in the world of fashion and art to receive something like this and I am very happy. I hope that the Indian government should now recognize fashion as the form of art like the way French do.”

Last year, the French government also honored Indian designer Ritu Beri with Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres award, one of its highest civilian awards, for her contribution to the enrichment of Indo-French cultural relations.

Arora, who runs the Indian by Manish Arora brand, feels that the Indian government lacks when it comes to giving recognition to the fashion industry.

“Starting with the basic of the government’s recognizing fashion as serious business and then having specialized people who understand fashion to be involved in the government to make changes… Also, fashion designers are rarely recognized in any kind of ceremonies or awards in India. I think this needs to be changed,” he added.

With a steady international clientele that makes it a point to visit his stall at national fashion weeks, Arora’s international presence started with his successful debut at the London Fashion Week in September 2005. He later showed his creative prowess at platforms in Hong Kong and Miami.

In 2007, he showcased for the first time in Paris Fashion Week, eventually becoming a member of the distinguished French Federation of Pret-a-Porter in the same year. Now the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur is another feather to his cap.

Looking back at his journey, Arora, whose connect with France was also strengthened by his appointment as the creative director for iconic French fashion house Paco Robanne in 2011, said: “I always think that it’s just a beginning.”

“I never feel that I am working. I am one of those who is following his dreams in the form of a job. Not everybody in the world gets the chance to follow their dreams, and I am glad I found my belongings… I feel as if I am on holiday.”

However, being among the first Indians to show internationally had its own pros and cons when he had started, Arora said.

“Starting in London, and then in Paris, was not that easy for me because you never had anybody else to take as an example. You had to make your own path, which comes with making a lot of mistakes, but then it also makes you more original and real because you have nobody else to look up to. So I am very glad with how my career shaped up,” said Arora, whose designs are flaunted by the likes of international fashion icons like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj.

While he is happy with the evolution of the Indian fashion industry on the global map, he feels the country’s designers still have a long way to go. A solution, he said, lies in the fact that “it is great to use India, but you need to modernize India”.

“You don’t need to westernize, but you need to modernize India and Indian techniques of weaving or textiles to be at par with international level,” added the designer, who has even worked in collaboration with brands such as Walt Disney, Swarvoski, Swatch, Reebok, Barbie, Mono Prix, Nespresso, Nivea, MAC Cosmetics, Pommery and Amrapali among others. (IANS)

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Italian Style: 5 Fashion Staples Any Woman Needs

There are many ways to enhance your own personal style so let’s start with some essential Italian pieces like:

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Check out 5 Fashion Staples Any Woman Needs.

Do you think you have what it takes to become your own fashion icon? Sure, we may not have Meghane Markle’s budget but that should not stop us from spicing up our wardrobe, right? Creating your own style is easier than you may think. If you can’t afford to turn to the French fashion powerhouses, do not despair, Italy is just around the corner.

Remember, your style should be a reflection of your tastes, imagination, and confidence. It is not solely a matter of money or branded products. There are many ways to enhance your own personal style so let’s start with some essential Italian pieces like…

Italian Handbags

Italian Handbags
Italian Handbags like this.

Cool Italian handbags have been in Vogue long before Chanel company came up with their first petite handbag. Those produced by vegetable tanning are top quality, there are plenty of designs on the market, and investing in one does not necessarily mean you need to spend a fortune.

Most Italian fashion chains or designers offer a range of bags, from small clutch bags to larger city style shopper totes and duffle bags. Italian handbags all have one thing in common – there is this air of timelessness about them so no wonder they are a fashion staple for women who know how to show some class.

Bling It Up

Ladies do like a bit of bling. But remember: moderation is key. Unless you are a hip-hop artist, no one digs big rocks. Italian jewelry is well known for its smooth and transitional designs. A piece bought ten years ago will look just as good today even though fashion, in general, has moved on. Top Italian companies, such as Murano Glass and Crystal, are happy to contribute to your bling box.

Go Footloose for Italian Shoes

If you have ever endured the foot ache from a pair of designer heels, you should do your best to invest in Italian heels next time you go hunting for shoes or boots. Top Italian footwear designers such as Bruno Magli really know that comfort comes first.

Italian Shoes
Background with shoes on shelves of shop.

But that does not mean Italian heels will ever compromise your look. They look just as amazing as a pair of kitten heels, only you will also feel comfortable in them from dusk to dawn.

Suited and Booted

With so many ladies now in business, suits have never been more popular. It is easy to spot a classy Italian suit in the office. Designs are a little bit bolder and stand out from the crowd. For instance, a thrilly blouse is not what you wear with your Italian suit.

Instead, complete your outfit with a silky shirt and slip on a classic designer watch to complement the overall professional appearance. Remember, your Italian outfit can make a strong statement that you can own the business world while also creating a poise of elegance unlike no other.

Day Dresses

Day Dresses
Young beautiful, elegantly dressed woman with bicycle.

Day dresses have long been part of Italian fashion. What many ladies love about Italian dresses is that they don’t scream designer wear. They are far more discreet and can easily take you from a business meeting to a romantic dinner date with your own Casanova. Borrow the jacket from your suit and slip it over your dress, and you will soon find you have a timeless classic look without silly branded buttons.

Conclusion

Even high street Italian fashion is timeless, and once you have discovered your inner sensual Signorita, you may find yourself walking down the road in an outfit which tells everyone around you that you have class. In other words, dressing the Italian way will do more than enhance your looks – it will boost your confidence at the same time. Isn’t that really what being your own fashion icon is all about?