By Neelima Agrawal
Breaking away from the restricted formats of fashion weeks, Designer Manav Gangwani presented his couture collection ‘SEVEN’, at The Mansion, Hyatt Regency Delhi, with all the splendour. The scales were impressive with 100 models, 70 of them walking the ramp to display 60 styles in women’s wear and 20 ethnic wear for the men, an oval ramp stretching on to 235ft, and ample front row seating for his specially invited guests. The event was also a celebration of the launch of his MG Crest, an elaborate design that uses symbolisms to depict the faith and beliefs of the designer. The glitzy installation in the centre of the ballroom of a horse head, a lion and a swan was an ode to this crest.
The collection Gangwani presented was indicative of why he is the chosen one to create wedding attire for the royalties, new and old, the most recent in-the-news being that of Prince Rahim Aga Khan and Kendra Spears’ Sherwani and pre draped sari. The long, grey carpeted oval runway at The Mansion was swept by the elaborate hemlines of gowns, lehengas and pallows of elegantly draped saris on tall leggy models. Chiffons, georgettes, silk velvets, lace, miles of tulle, teamed with embellishments, intricate embroideries, cutwork designs, studded with pearls, Basra, Swarovski, gota work and Chikankari. Just the kind of outfits to light up the festivities.
Manav Gangwani has named his collection ‘SEVEN’ after the seven virtues of hope, faith, forgiveness, honesty, strength, courage and loyalty. Akin to the seven vows? The colour palette to depict these virtues was largely pastel, subdued shades of pink for hope, yellow for faith, lavender for forgiveness, ivory for honesty, aqua for strength, gold for courage and green for loyalty. The traditional Indian wedding colours of red, bright green, orange, maroon etc went missing. The parade of suits, anarkalis, shararas, lehengas, gowns, saris were interspersed with Sherwanis and Bundgalas for men
The red carpet entry, cocktails, the only-slightly delayed cooling period before the shows, post-show dinner, all worked well enough. Gangwani marked his presence after a hiatus of one year, the new logo and all. Here is one honest designer, who proclaimed, “My years in this industry have made me realize that the most important person in making me who I am is “I”. Naturally, he is inspired by himself when designing his creation. Fair enough. Wish I could say the same for myself. He goes on to add, “It is my faith in myself and in my passion for designing that has shaped the course of my life.” And he is not doing badly at all.
Gangwani adds, “Taking inspiration and using techniques from a long-forgotten era, I have woven together a fantasy of ethereal creations. I have given a touch of other worldly charm and serenity, along with a feeling of opulence, to the entire collection.” The detailed inputs that have gone into the new crest of the MG label give an insight into what the designer is about. A devotee of the Tirupati Balaji, whose image is positioned at the head, the lion for his zodiac sign of Leo, astride a lotus, the flower of the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. The write-up goes on to say that other symbols hidden in the crest are of Ek-Omkar, Om, Allah, Swastik, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, as an indicator of his religious philosophy. Did I mention the butterflies and a swan? And the horse?