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City men conservative in taste

Last Updated : 25 March 2018, 18:51 IST

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Doing fashion for men is way more challenging than doing it for women, according to designers working in Bengaluru.

The reason is that, when it comes to fashion, women are more adventurous, says designer Manoviraj Khosla. "One can play around with women's wear in sense of drapes, cuts, lengths and flares. Men have a set mindset. There are parameters that have to be followed," he says.

He adds, "A man does not want to walk into a place and be noticed for his clothes which are different from everyone else. A woman would love to be noticed for her different clothes though."

Manoviraj who has worked with lengths and mixed Indian wear with Western, says that most men don't want to be the first to try something. "Women are more broadminded when it comes to fashion," he says.

'Namma' city is conservative too, adds Manoviraj. "If a Bengaluru man sees a new style on someone else from another city and knows that the style has been tried and tested multiple times, only then would he try it too. Men in Delhi and Mumbai are mostly the first ones to try a new style," he says.

"It was a struggle to
break into people's mindsets when I initially started but people have opened up a bit more in the last few years," he says.

Just like their clientele, some designers like sticking to the classics. Designer Lokessh Ahuja who works only with menswear, says that it has a tighter framework. "There is not much liberty to working on artsy designs as it isn't commercially viable. The reality is that one has to work with designs that work for a client's everyday life and is not high concept as he will end up not wearing it," he says.

Men avoid stuff which is too costumey, adds Lokessh.

"Men are conservative when it comes to workwear. They tend to stick to whites and blues, and some might opt for a pink or lavender but not beyond that. Keeping the wearer's personality in mind is important for every design," he says.

Lokessh doesn't experiment a lot with colours and his outfits stick to black, greys and blues.

He adds, "For a man to change the size of his collar, the width of trouser or the lapel of his jacket is quite a task. The client cannot be expected to wear an outfit after random tweaks are done. Once men get comfortable with a design, they keep coming back for it."

The technical issues

Designing menswear is a costlier process, points out designer
Sanjay Choraria. "In womenswear, one can start off with Rs one lakh of investment into machinery and technology that would be used for embroidery or detailing and with some 'karigars'. One will need machines and technology worth at least Rs 25 lakh for designing menswear though," he says.

"Just to create a shirt, there are multiple machines involved, including one to create the collar, another for the placket, stitching and steam press," adds Sanjay.

Limited fabrics
There are a lot of restrictions in fabrics too. "One can only work with cotton, linen and wool. I would love to work with something in leather, but how many people would wear something in leather is the question? Bengaluru climatic conditions also don't allow one to wear a heavy wool jacket."
Lokessh Ahuja

'Clothes are an investment'
"It is better to have good quality and well-made clothes than a number of random additions to your wardrobe. Men buy clothes as an investment."
Lokessh

"A lot of 40 and 50-year-old men are ready to experiment with clothing compared to earlier"
Manoviraj Khosla

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Published 25 March 2018, 13:20 IST

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