Calling all men: Would you wear the trendy manarkali?
It’s too feminine for me. I would rather stick to suits. What a hassle it will be to pee wearing a ‘manarkali’
RAGHAV BINDAL, BUSINESSMAN
Indian gods and kings have worn clothing that didn’t adhere to modern gender stereotypes
SUSHANT DIVGIKAR, FORMER BIGG BOSS CONTESTANT
Anarkalis, the regal, frockstyle kurtas are almost every woman’s favourite traditional Indian attire. Actor Madhubala immortalised this garment in her depiction of Anarkali, the royal courtesan in the film Mughal-e-Azam. Kathak and Kathakali dancers also wear anarkalis for performances.
And now, there’s an anarkali for men, too! Though Mughal emperors, such as Akbar and Shahjahan, wore them with elegance, this is quite a novelty for the 21st century male. Nicknamed ‘manarkali’ by the fashionforward folk, these are anarkalis specially designed for men who have the swag to rock the look. A recent fashion show in the Capital saw male models donning colourful anarkalis. Even Bollywood stars, such as Ranveer Singh, Anupam Kher and Ali Fazal, have been seen wearing different versions of the ‘manarkali’.
“Beauty knows no borders, much less artificial constructs like masculinity or femininity. The manarkali is about celebrating the universal spirit of beauty. We wanted men to experience a new form, something our present generation is not used to. That’s how the man-anarkali was created,” say designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.
Designer Gaurav Khanijo says that it’s an interesting take on angrakhas. “I’m proangrakha! They are flared at the bottom and structured at the top, perfect for muscular and tall men.” Designer Anju Modi feels, “This attire has a very royal, Mughal appeal.”
Above left and left: Models from Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla show; Above: Fabio Di Leonardo, a fashion choreographer