Macho twist to fashion

MAN ON THE RAMP

Macho twist to fashion

Men’s wear in India has come of age and so has the Indian man. Finally the conservative is giving way to experimentation with colours, styles and silhouettes. It’s not just the international designers who are playing with radically different looks for the new age man but also Indian designers. Earlier, it was all about the City, the white collared job, the bank—the more generic look that had almost typecast the Indian man into a mould which could be easily replicated. A man could go through an entire year with his black-tie jacket and trousers without anyone noticing that anything amiss. After all, no one really looked at what the man was wearing …it was always the eye candy on his arm that was concentrated on. Times have changed. Now the Indian man also feels the need to express his individuality… he asks questions like, “I want to express my personality, so where am I going to find that? Where can I get my questions answered, rather than going somewhere and picking up something that feels like I've seen that before?”

He is not only becoming conscious of his style but also his personality, which is reflected through it and the kind of message that his complete ensemble is sending out. I guess after decades of beauty and style being dedicated to Bollywood beauties it is the first time that we now associate men with certain styles…it has not been an overnight transition but a slow burning one which started with Shahrukh in DDLJ , KKHK to the current look that he is sporting with his plaid coloured scruffy Hyderabadi scarf which we associate with him, Saif with the satchel bag and Kareena tattoo, Abhishek Bachchan and his hip-hop look, Aamir with the weird hair do and goatee, Hrithik with his immaculately dressed appearances, Farhan Akhtar and his hairband, Imran and his clean look, Akshay Kumar and his tailored suits and John Abraham with his yellow trunks … the list goes on.

It’s a big shift that men are now being associated with style. The designs that we see today are not just the two extremes i.e., the boring and the safe versus the bold, experimental and unwearable look on the ramps … there is a balance between commercial and cutting edge designs. With an upcoming men’s fashion week (imagine a whole week dedicated to possible variations to mens wear…this should be interesting!) it’s about time men dove into their wardrobes to be more presentable and take more than a few minutes to slap something on.

There are definitive albeit extreme trends that we see coming up in menswear this season. What we have seen this season at various fashion weeks, brand collections and individual designer collections where each designer has interpreted his / her own version of the modern Indian male...it has been quite a journey. With so many options to choose from it will not be surprising if you see your man give his wardrobe a complete overhaul. This season’s runways had more back-and-forth than Roddick and Federer at Wimbledon: the pop flash of hero chic versus rustic tweeds, the peplum curve versus the long and lean, richly detailed bohemia versus stark minimalism. We rounded up a few definitive ones that we know are going to be making an appearance in India.

Country life
The fashion flock’s native habitat may be city streets, but this season, designers have gone mad for plaid and discovered a need for tweed. Checks and more checks on the ramp layered with a tactile mix of tweed, velvet, shearling and sometimes even fur. Dev r Nil and Vivek Karunakaran had their models walking the ramp in different lengths of checks and tweed. Men have never felt more fashionable while braving the chilling winter winds than this season.

Superhero worship
Heroes, Transformers, Spiderman, Hancock, Iron Man, Superman and more such men and the likes have sparked of a superhero trend like no other. The superhero paraphernalia is being pulled out of storage. The alter ego of man to be something larger than life ... to be the ‘hero’ has never left him since his teens. Even though you will not find them running around in spandex and cape, the designers have incorporated certain elements of the superhero costume into everyday wear. New age designers like Digvijay Singh, Troy Costa, Arjun Saluja, Shantanu & Nikhil, Leconte Hemant including Rohit Bal have got the trend covered in their recent collections. The fashion-forward males will be preparing to unleash their new Fall power ensembles — a futuristic black tie dress, for instance, a caped jacket, tough leather jacket or funnel-collared furs command confidence and demand a good pair of shoes clicking together. Perhaps not so ideal for leaping across tall buildings, but then, Spiderman’s already got that part covered, hasn’t he?

Minimalist tendency
A less-is-more philosophy is embedded in the DNA of seasoned designers like Krishna Mehta, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Narendra Kumar where they have put together beautiful and aesthetic collections which have been pared with the correct accessories and very precise visions. Romantic merged with stark, architectural tailoring have reinvented the Fall's new black which is Black with a capital B!

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