If there's one designer Bollywood's rich and famous seem to turn to when they need to up their glam game, it's our very own Faraz Manan. The designer who hails from Lahore has won hearts across border with his exceptional designs that have been worn by Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Kiara Advani, Janhvi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, among others.
Manan's lavishly embroidered designs, colours and cuts make his label a unique blend of eastern and western wear. He offers the best of both worlds, so it's no wonder why his lehengas, saris and kaftans have made their way to Bollywood — an industry that rarely compromises on fashion.
In an exclusive interview with Vogue India Manan said it's time for fashion to "get the party started," and we see where he is headed now. With a flagship store in Dubai, the designer will be presenting his latest couture at the Bulgari Yacht Club in Jumeirah Bay, with 30 to 35 couture pieces.
"My last fashion show was nearly three years ago in Dubai, the one where Kareena walked for me. Now that most people are vaccinated it is time to accept the reality and move on — and that means it is time again for fashion shows," said the designer.
He also addressed something we've all been wondering for a while — why Kapoor has been the brand's face. "Her sister Karisma became the face of the brand when I first started and through her, Kareena and I met and hit it off. It was an instant friendship, she's beautiful inside out and has a real zest for life. Over the years, we've grown very close and that's how organically she has become my muse," Manan explained.
The designer explained why stars like Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt have been wearing his designs in India. "It is not difficult for stylists in India to contact our Dubai store. We just take it from there, so it's rather easy. When Deepika reached out, I was very excited," he explained. Padukone had worn a custom made sari by the designer which featured a halter-neck blouse and a short bolero jacket and his signature embroidery.
The love and appreciation for his designs in Bollywood has been growing to which the designer said that it entirely depends on "the actor or the talent who appreciates the clothes and wants to wear them." He finds it rather "encouraging" though. "It is one artist appreciating another artist’s craft," he said.
After dressing stars like Priyanka Chopra and Madhuri Dixit, the designer was asked who he would love to see in his designs. "I have been fortunate. Sridevi wore my designs and that was always a dream. So have many other talented women from Bollywood. But to me honestly, the ultimate Indian beauty was Madhubala. She was so graceful so if I were to think of someone, I think it would have to be Madhubala."
Not only is Manan well-known in India, but his is a huge name in Pakistan as well. The son of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Junaid Safdar wore Manan's design for his valima. He wore a classy cashmere beige sherwani with brass buttons in gold that had lions engraved on them, in acknowledgement of the family’s political insignia.
Many artists have been wearing his designs but that isn't the limit of Manan's ambitions. The designer's next mission is Paris Fashion Week.