By Joanna | June 7, 2012
TAGGED AS Fashion, Graffiti, Life is Beautiful, Manish Arora, Paris, Street Art
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL goes the tagline to the Manish Arora Fall 2012 collection. True to the origins of its inspiration, this phrase was literally conceived and delivered in real time — an imitation and tribute to the nature of street art. Inspired by urban landscapes, feminine structured silhouettes of the 50s, and street art, Arora displayed his fall collection in front of a live graffiti session in the industrial open air space of the Cite de la Mode. In the midst of such a setting, Parisian street artists Rude, Vizion and Broke immediately went to work on a backdrop in bright pop lettering to showcase the collection (much to the delight of on-lookers who were coughing, inhaling, though smiling through the noxious fumes). Shocking, fun, and unexpected for most, but in Manish Arora’s world, would you expect any less?
For a man who claims solid gold to be a demure neutral, Manish Arora’s tendencies for the outrageous leads him to constantly mash various contrasting and fantastical references together. Between his namesake line and as the Creative Director behind Paco Rabanne, Arora’s designs never cease to make jaws drop. Though often touching other realities, Manish Arora knows without a doubt, great tailoring and how to manipulate experimental materials. The Fall 2012 collection was certainly no different.
The models strutted out in a mashup of prints drawn from Brooklyn-based street artist Judith Supine, in a combination of fragmented faces with fluid patterns and colors. The resulting prints appeared on flared dresses, boleros, and nipped waists; in silks, velvets, leathers and furs. The show ended with a parade of ten models in dresses lined with crinoline skirts painted to melt into the graffiti backdrop. Life Is Beautiful, you say, well, Life can certainly be Fabulously Fun too.
In preparation for the show, Arora, Rude, Vizion and Broke went out to a Paris suburb to practice. After successfully tagging a wall, they went back three days later, only to discover that it had been wiped clean. The fleeting nature of this art only inspired Manish all the more, seeing it like a metaphor to life. When asked, “what makes life beautiful for you, Mr. Arora?” he exclaimed, “You! Everybody! All of us!”
[All photographs by Joanna Hardyment]