Inside Le Comptoir Générale, school benches mark the runway topped with tiny rainbow My Little Ponies for each guest. The antique video games flash and stutter at the back of the room, the 8-bit screens glowing with Street Fighters and start screens blip their countdowns.
Indulged in fantasy decorations, varsity jackets and full circle skirts bound down the runway, finished with bubblegum brothel creepers designed by Paris-based artist, Nikos. In an technicolour hommage to classic American iconography, the models look like they had just stepped out of a brightly coloured Pleasantville of picket fences, Star Brite dolls and all things Kawaii. Rainbow swirls and sequins and hot air balloons that seem to drift off the garments and fill the room. Hourglass dresses, printed with flamingos in a nod to the kitsch of 50s America. Candy cane striping and ice cream prints!
But it isn’t just the textiles that are exquisite. It is clear that the greatest of attention to details has been paid to this collection, from the make up artistry to the perfect box sleeves, and pleats in the full skirts. Though it might seem that a small explosion may have happened to a sequin box, the shapes are precise and considered, with the final gown in a sky-blue tulle rainbow could just as easily be couture.
The combination of the futuristic and vintage styling is a triumph is this uplifting collection of Shiny Happy People. Not only the R.E.M track that features for the finale, but encapsulating of the cast of models that wore the euphoric collection. With guest appearances from singer Bishi, Blanca Li, and Pandemonia, an anonymous personage from London known for her latex doll disguise. In this collection, and through his choice of models, Manish Arora celebrates individual beauty. Among the band of Arora characters was a blue Pomeranian – blue! – who had appeared in last season’s collection sporting purple.
Life is beautiful. With his most recent collection for Spring Summer 2017, Manish Arora brings his personal motto-mantra to life.
Photos courtesy of Manish Arora