The new men’s trends that are bending gender rules
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