Fashion’s Big Shift

Hello red carpet, make way for the men.

Updated: January 21, 2014 11:56:55 pm

Awards seasons usually mean the best of red-carpet fashion. Each year, popular designer labels are sought after, often newer names surprise us with their freshness. (Check Amit GT for his simply stunning beaded gown for Sonakshi Sinha at the 20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards to know what love is.) Gowns are voted as glamorous or dull, reputations are made or laid to rest and a nod from the fashion police is as coveted as the trophy itself.

But this January, a major fashion shift presented itself. Instead of women’s fashion-which, in the past few years, has bored even the most excitable fashion hacks like me-all eyes were trained on the men’s wardrobes. This is especially curious since most Bollywoodwallahs either show up in tuxedo or a black suit, or slur the ceremonies with a nonchalant jeans-and-shirt combo.

The man of the moment at the Screen awards was so clearly Farhan Akhtar, who took home a well-earned trophy for Best Actor in his pursuance as sprinter Milkha Singh (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). The actor ran away with our breath as he wore a classy velvet bandhi waistcoat over white jodhpurs. His wife’s quirky-chic sari and golden rosettes in the hair were happily overlooked for his flawless fashion quotient. Kunal Khemu may have been forgotten for his hysterical turn in Go, Goa, Gone, but he looked marvellous in a bright blue bandhgala with a red pocket square.

My personal favourite is Ranveer Singh, Bollywood fashion’s most delicious peacock, who wore a tuxedo by Tom Ford with a midnight blue velvet jacket. Despite such an impressive turn as a kedia-coated roué in Ram Leela and a tender-loving thug in Lootera, it is Singh’s fashion sensibilities that are also making heads turn. On TV shows and promotional events, he’s worn tuxes with chappals, polka-dotted trousers with pinstripes, brocade jackets and other fun stuff you’d only imagine on Mad Hatter in Alice’s Wonderland. Singh, with his unending energy and plentiful panache, he’s becoming a raging fashion icon.

The Golden Globes put men in the centre as well. A smart new term called the `man-bun’ has been such a wonderful contrivance. Last year’s shaggy beards and hippy hair have been slicked back into a bun, as shown by Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix and Best Original Score winner Alex Ebert. Ebert, who no one knew until he came on stage to accept his prize, is now the name on everyone’s lips thanks to his bouffant meets bed-head bun.

The Cut website describes him as “one showerless day away from dreadlocks. That tangle makes me think he’d have weird intense sex in a yurt, and then nurse a baby bird back to health while eating homemade flaxseed scones”.

Most would agree that a man-bun would be welcome among our heroes too. Imagine Arjun Rampal or Shah Rukh Khan with one, but they already wear ponytails. How about Ranveer, Imran Khan and Sidharth Malhotra?

The Globes also marked a fashion first with some very eligible actors bringing their mothers as their dates. Leo DiCaprio, Phoenix and Bradley Cooper’s best accessories were their mums.

Now that’s a trend Hollywood can keep to itself, thank you.

namratanow@gmail.com

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