Watching the sun rise over the dunes in the Dubai desert seems a serendipitous place to find Manish Arora. Not merely because our arid plains serve as a suitable spirtual home to his mystical, multicoloured, sequin-strewn designs, but also because his Spring/Summer 2018 collection, aptly named Ready To Love – which takes us on a nomadic journey from the Middle East to Burning Man via the Balearic sunsets of Ibiza – was inspired by our very own Noor Fares.
It’s a friendship that blossomed when the Lebanese jewellery designer was looking for an Indian couturier to create an outfit for her One Thousand and One Nights-themed party, part of her wedding celebrations in 2015. “We hit it off instantly,” Manish recalls of their first meeting. “Since then we have become really good friends. I’ve not just made an outfit for her wedding, we also went to Burning Man together in 2016, she’s celebrated her birthday in India with me and I’ve spent time at her home in Lebanon. Let’s say, over the years we are only getting closer and closer,” he reveals, wearing a pinkie ring from her collection to prove it. He continues, “We both are very spiritually inclined people, and we have a great understanding between each other. We may not talk every day, but we are constantly in tune with each other’s lives.”
On how she saw her style come to life at the collection’s debut at Paris Fashion Week, Noor tells Grazia, “I love to mix contemporary with vintage and love layering my clothes with bright jackets, shoes and accessories, and Manish has really captured my personality within the collection through his use of colour, texture and movement.” She adds, “I love the kaleidoscopic silk prints with dreamcatchers and hearts that adorn the dressing gowns and pyjama-style outfits.”
Yet it was only fitting that the Ready to Love collection had its homecoming in the Middle East, and that moment came with an in-store runway show where VIP clients and special guests alike celebrated the launch of Tryano’s new ready-to-wear department.
Having already won over the hearts – and the wardrobes – of the women of the Middle East, what’s next for Manish Arora? “Oh, there’s so much left to achieve. I would say, I’ve just begun.” Among his unfulfilled ambitions is to one day to assume the creative direction of Burning Man – an annual event in the Nevada desert, that seeks to lift the human spirit, and inspire a sense of culture and community.
“It would be the most beautiful, colourful paradise in this world if I was the Creative Director of Burning Man,” he vows. “It will be the best example of three emotions – happiness, joy and celebration. When you’re there, it’ll be obvious that life is beautiful.”
He insists, “Burning Man is a way of living,” and because cash transactions are forbidden, festival-goers are encouraged to bring goods to exchange in kind. We’ll be on the look out for Manish at this year’s gathering with a suitcase full of his dazzling designs, no doubt surrounded by starry-eyed revellers hoping to be bestowed with a glittering gift.
• Manish Arora’s Ready to Love collection is available at Tryano at Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi and online at tryano.com