With temperatures rising, the new collection by Manish Malhotra is a breath of fresh air. The Indian designer to the stars unveiled his spring/summer styles at his flagship Dubai store on Jumeirah Beach Road on Thursday.

Cottons and linens, ideal for the sizzling season, are to be found across nearly 50 versatile styles featuring the repeated circular motif of suede and Malhotra's trademark wool.

Long shirt dresses are teamed up with sashes and belts, and can be worn over jeans or capris for a casual feel, while heavily embroidered panelled skirts can be paired with simple tee-shirts to be found in the range.

Malhotra, who arrived fashionably late wearing a linen jacket over dark denim jeans and a blue shirt, said his aim with the new collection was to become more accessible.

"It's the first time I've worked with linens and cottons and I have been working on the pricing to reach out to a lot of people," he said.

When asked what inspired him in the creation process, he answered: "The basic thought was a girl from Rajasthan who shops at Rodeo Drive. It was about blending the cultures.

"The woman I am catering to is modern, well travelled and independent. She plays with the clothes and there is an element of her personality that comes into it."

Strap it on

Designer Rekha Tourani, who used to work with Manish Malhotra, wore a beige and gold corset dress with a baby doll skirt and gold beading. "It's one of my favourites from his collection," she said of the Dh1,400 dress. "I love the strappy look and the fit is superb in Manish's clothes — you always feel feminine."

We just loved ...

Store manager Sarah Rashid wore a Dh950 coral peach shirt dress with suede and wool motifs over gold foil leggings.

TV anchorwoman Uma Ghosh Deshpande loved the georgette, satin and linen halter-neck dress she was modelling which costs Dh1,400. She said: "Manish Malhotra has changed the face of Bollywood cinema and he is one of the best designers in India."

Check points

Here's the lowdown on what to expect from Manish Malhotra's spring/summer 2007 collection:

Colours: Coral, oyster, off white, beige, pink and peppermint green.
Fabrics: Cottons, textured linens, georgettes, satins and nets with leather appliqué, and pearl, sequin and wool embroidery.
Styles: Casual shirt dresses, contemporary kurtas, jersey churidars, leggings, traditional blouses, shirts and saris.
Length: Around the knee.
Sizes: 36 to 44.
Prices: From Dh450 to Dh4,000.