If autumn-winter 2013 menswear trends were to be tallied,Mumbai designer Troy Costas show would single-handedly measure up to global style standards. His Saville Row-inspired line showcased impeccable tailoring and an incisively on-trend collection of garments. Charcoal greys met updated British checks and colour blocking; ankle skimming trousers met heavy tread boots and textured velvets. Costas men were suave,sophisticated and,most importantly,they were archetypes of the classic man. They wore their clothes and detailed accessories pocket squares,bow-ties,scarves,brooches,boutonnieres,tie clips with an easy nonchalance,a trend reflected on international Fall 2013 menswear ramps. But if this one sparkling show could make a fireworks display,the talent at Lakme Fashion Weeks winter/festive 2013 edition would have been a veritable Diwali celebration of mens fashion.
Among the four dedicated menswear shows,debutant Nitin Chawla made an impression with his modern-day Samurai warriors dressed in armour-like overcoats and stylishly studded bomber jackets. Other menswear labels such as Barkha n Sonzal and Unit by Rajat Suri,also threw up some interesting options. Barkha Sharma and Sonzal Patels pale pastels and the mint green trousers paired with a printed jacket donned by showstopper Aditya Roy Kapur were noteworthy. Meanwhile,Suri presented single-breasted and belted takes on the Nehru jacket,apart from other sharply-tailored pieces. The accent was clearly on clothes that can be worn off the ramp.
For the young fashion consumer,prints made a splash. While dragonflies hovered over Sayantan Sarkars suits and Ken Ferns put tree branches and creatures of the night on his silvery moonlit palette,GenNext graduate Quirk Box presented vintage cars and zany prints on suits,shirts and shorts,some in permissible hues of greys and powder blues. But it took the inventive Dhruv Kapur of DRVV to really challenge gender perceptions with his tube jumpsuit and pillar dresses for men.
While the younger labels kept it interesting,some of the strongest Indian menswear looks came from veteran quarters with Manish Malhotra and Anita Dongre showcasing sharp silhouettes bereft of ornamentation. Even though Sabyasachi Mukherjee used embroidery and florals,the threadwork was tone-on-tone and the print muted.
But even as trend reports trickled in,it was obvious that there was a dismal lack of menswear fashion to strike a balance this season. Perhaps,in an effort to address this lacuna,INIFD hosted a workshop titled Evolving Mens Fashion in India moderated by Express columnist Namrata Zakaria. For Saket Dhankar,head,fashion,IMG Reliance,this was part of an endeavour to promote menswear at LFW. Apart from there being very few dedicated menswear designers in the country,the segment does not have enough seasonal buyers and media interest is also less,as compared to womenswear. Moreover,mens shows are about craftsmanship and tailoring. It doesnt make sense for them to show every six months, explains Dhankar. But hes optimistic. Male buyers are evolving. With international brands coming in,theyre discovering concepts such as day jackets,coloured shirts,fits and accessories, he says. Apart from introducing more menswear designers in the GenNext and Talent Box categories next season,Dhankar hopes to lure designers such as Arjun Khanna,Kunal Rawal,Sanjay Hingu and Narendra Kumar Ahmed back on to the ramp.