Manish Arora kicked off a vigorous spring show with a colorful portrait of beloved French football star Kylian Mbappé on the front of a T-shirt; the back read “Girls just wanna have fun.” Paired with an iridescent miniskirt and neon stilettos with red-and-blue Paris Saint-Germain socks, it might sound awful, but it carried a certain energy in its kitschy unconventionality.
Arora built on this opener, sending down a lineup of sequined, beaded, ruffled and embroidered pieces in searing colors, and various forms and lengths. There were flames, too, and a leopard face that popped off of a sequined top and sprang onto shoulders and belts. Three dimensional, it also became a handbag, with eyes that flashed green.
“It’s a girl who is very much Eighties, she’s coming out of illustrations of Antonio Lopez but with a sporty vibe of the team, people, of Paris Saint Germain football club — real sport but sexy sport,” the designer said.
Silhouettes from that go-go era were adjusted in ways that made sense, slightly streamlined, sleeker and lighter. Sports jackets were made in ultralight fabrics, and ranged from a series of shimmery Windbreakers to one in pale denim, embellished with bead work and elegantly gatherings on the back.
As he reaches out to a global audience — the PSG soccer club merchandise will be sold through select distribution channels in China and India from February — it also felt as if he nudged the collection upmarket a notch, trimming away some of the excess without losing any of its punch.