FLUID FASH­ION

The new men’s trends that are bend­ing gen­der rules

India Today - - CONTENTS - Text and styling by CHINKI SINHA

Does it re­ally mat­ter what one wears? Or what men wear? It has al­ways been about what women should wear, given the bat­tle-hard­ened muses and de­sign­ers like Rei Kawakubo who worked on the prin­ci­ple “that a woman should derive from her clothes the ease and con­fi­dence that a man does.” It was an egal­i­tar­ian premise, which of course has been con­sis­tently for­got­ten in men’s fash­ion where a man is al­most al­ways dressed in stiff suits or in In­dia, in the quin­tes­sen­tial sher­wani, a wed­ding look that looks like a left­over from the bride’s trousseau. But fash­ion moves in mys­te­ri­ous and yet in some cases, pro­gres­sive ways. That’s what menswear in 2017 prom­ises. The fu­ture, if you dare to face it, is more than lim­it­ing one­self to gen­der bi­na­ries or even an­drog­yny. The “om­ni­scient male nar­ra­tor” in fash­ion must eman­ci­pate the man from such trap­pings. The kurta is lib­er­ated. It stands

THIS SEA­SON IS ALL ABOUT COL­LAPS­ING STEREO­TYPES WITH COLOURS LIKE FUSCHIA AND RED DOM­I­NAT­ING THE COLOUR SPEC­TRUM its own ground. You could call it Kurta 2.0, says Amit Han­sraj, who heads the En­sem­ble Menswear di­vi­sion and has been at the helm of pro­mot­ing new de­sign­ers who are break­ing new grounds in terms of in­ter­pret­ing the mod­ern In­dian man.“We are look­ing in­wards and mak­ing our sil­hou­ettes con­tem­po­rary. The vo­cab­u­lary is the same but the in­ter­pre­ta­tion is dif­fer­ent,” he says.

Not all de­sign­ers are fash­ion for­ward. Not ev­ery­one is tak­ing risks here. But a few like Uj­jawal Dubey of An­tar Agni and Ar­jun Saluja—the be­liever and prac­ti­tioner of that elu­sive and com­pli­cated an­drog­yny that is in­vested in post-gen­der cloth­ing—are chang­ing the game.

Tex­tile and de­sign be­he­moths like Rajesh Pratap Singh and David Abra­ham and Rakesh Thakore of A&T, are con­tribut­ing to the change in the off­ing. They have dared to con­front the “cul­tural ma­nip­u­la­tion” of menswear in In­dian fash­ion.

This sea­son is all about col­laps­ing stereo­types with colours like fuschia and red for men. It is a sea­son of con­trasts where struc­tured sil­hou­ettes are led with the con­fi­dence to a softer side with a flo­ral vest. “I call them the new dandies,” says Saluja, a Delhi-based de­signer.

If de­fi­ance could be called a trend, it is what’s shap­ing men’s fash­ion. It is the year for ev­ery man. That is big­gest trend for the 2017 menswear.

1 THE TRAV­ELLER Khadi dhoti by Abra­ham & Thakore; striped linen shirt by Pero; hand­wo­ven long jacket and leather sneak­ers by Sa­mant Chauhan

2 THE BO­HEMIAN Grey parka and trousers by Rishta by Ar­jun Saluja; white shirt and shoes by Abra­ham & Thakore; leather clutch by Nappa Dori

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