Designer Manish Arora, known for his versatility, innovation and vibrant palette, has forayed into a completely different vertical from fashion designing. He is now creating glass art — using discarded and recycled glass bottles.
“I had never worked with glass. Having worked with fabrics, it was exciting to work with recycled glass. It’s a different technique altogether and the process is tougher than it looks. You have to wait for 24 hours to see how your efforts have shaped up and go back to square one if you make a mistake or don’t get the expected design,” says Arora.
In collaboration with luxury hospitality brand Soneva, he worked on a year-long campaign titled the ‘Festival of Colour’.
He named the collection ‘Life Is Beautiful’ and included aspects of his own life. He explains, “Emotions like love, joy and happiness pretty much sum up my life. These emotions take me on the path of inspiration that I infuse in my work. When it comes to inspiration, I immerse myself in it and think about a story that can be narrated on the ramp. I play around with the key elements, make them into characters and let them reflect these emotions. Pick any of my past collections, and you will see at least one of the emotions in there,” he comments.
He has used his favourite shape — the heart — as the base for his creations. And also used elements from his past collections. “Since we were by the sea, I used a sea horse from my SS-17 collection on one of the hearts and the patterns from a butterfly kaftan from the Disco Gypsy collection on another,” he adds.
About the whole journey of creating the glass works, he says, “Glass-making is all about patience. You cannot predict the outcome until the piece that you are working on cools down. When I started the project, I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me. Thanks to the team, things gradually fell into place. It was a completely new experience, and working in a calm, peaceful and beautiful environment was quite a liberating experience.”
Satisfied with his works in this new medium, he is enthusiastic about doing more. “In these times when we are in dire need of recycling and sustainable fashion, I am definitely looking forward to more such collaborations and experiences,” he signs off.