Hes not your typical model,but when businessman Naveen Ansal walked on to the ramp dressed in snugly-fitted paisley trousers and jacket,his aviators cutting out the glare of the arclights and revved up the vintage Harley Davidson,you knew that menswear in India is done with playing second fiddle to womens clothing.
Since noon,despite the steady rain casting doubts about people making it,The Grand,the venue of the first Van Heusen India Mens Week,was abuzz with activity. Designer Manoviraj Khosla stood on the porch,taking in the crowd coming in,Kalyani Chawla turned up in a chic black outfit and grey hat,newbie Himmat Singh of Jaipur,whose claim to fame has been tailoring for erstwhile royalty of Rajasthan,strutted around in a sharpsuit,a harried but ever-beaming Sunil Sethi,president,Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) greeted the guests,but of course,the cynosure of all eyes was the man of the moment,Ravi Bajaj,who came back to the fashion week after over two decades in the industry. This is not my first time at the fashion week,but I hope to be pleasantly surprised since its Ravi, said restaurateur AD Singh,kitted out in a white suit and a fedora hat,accompanied by socialite Thenny Mejia. The mens week should make for good news in the retail sector. In any case,its refreshing to see the other end of the spectrum, smiled Mejia.
Even as designers Narendra Kumar Ahmad and Suneet Varma cheered from the audience,Bajajs dandies came out in crisp suits,leather-trimmed shirts and jackets with built-in scarves. And if Ansals biker chic at the opening wasnt enough,Bajaj took a turn himself at the end and led his boys off the ramp amidst a roaring reception. Up next were designers Rajvi Mohan,Aslam Khan and Himmat Singh,with designers Siddharth Tytler and Varun Bahl in attendance. Singh brought alive the royal past with his jodhpurs and hunting breeches and denim angrakhas while Mohans surfer collection transported you to sun-drenched beaches. Its a life I aspire for. So I kept it fun all the way, joked the jovial Mohan. The buyers are trickling in slowly,but at least the fun has begun.