‘Mr Khanna’, as actor Rahul Khanna’s Instagram profile reads, is a ‘Boutique Bollywood Actor’. He may not be posing for the paparazzi, but he sure manages to charm his way into his fans’ social media feeds by regularly sharing drool-worthy pictures that are sure to make one go weak in the knees.
His pictures are always on-point: perfect pose, expression, and style (even if bare-chested!). So, when we asked him about his mantra, the actor shared that he takes his wardrobe very seriously and makes sure to “dress to always impress”. Perhaps then, it was only natural for him to step into the world of fashion entrepreneurship, which he recently did with a capsule collection of menswear accessories.
From his personal style ideology as an expression of himself to his foray into fashion and some noteworthy tips, the 50-year-old, who is prepping for the release of his new film Lost, spoke with indianexpress.com exclusively about all this and much more! Edited excerpts below:
How would you describe your pandemic experience?
I’m a classic introvert, so isolation is actually enjoyable for me! I was able to adjust quite easily to the lockdown. I was occupied almost every day with Zoom calls—working on conceptualising the RKXC line and working with Aniruddha (Roy Chowdhury), prepping for Lost. I was locked down without any staff so I was also doing all my own cooking and housekeeping. I was lucky to be in an area where there was easy access to the outdoors so I was able to get lots of fresh air and exercise safely. My heart did go out to all the people who were more directly affected by the virus and had to deal with personal tragedy.
Tell us about your foray into the men’s accessory line.
I’ve always been interested in style and have a definite point of view about what I like. When Chokore (that specialises in accessories) approached me, it seemed like a good fit and a chance to do something creative and different.
How would you define your style?
Style is an expression of your personality. It’s the way you present yourself to the world and say something about yourself without talking. My personal style is understated and un-fussy. I like classic menswear and muted colours. Everyone’s style should be unique because everyone is unique.
And your fashion ideology?
I like simplicity and elegance, like in the mathematical sense—nothing extraneous or fussy. I also tend to stay away from anything too “trendy” and I like items that have longevity and will last a long time. I also don’t really enjoy wearing colour often unless it’s on an accessory. But that’s just me. I love seeing people who have very different taste from mine expressing themselves through their fashion choices.
Your advice when investing in men’s accessories?
I would suggest starting with the basics
– An elegant, solid navy silk necktie
– A pristine white pocket square (there are both fine options in fine linen and in eri silk)
– A black self-tie bow tie
– A black silk necktie
– A festive silk pocket square to wear for traditional Indian celebrations
Five things you don’t leave home without and why…
Sunglasses (gives me a false sense of privacy)
My AirPods (I love podcasts, listening to music and meditating while stuck in Mumbai traffic)
Hand sanitiser (I was doing this way before the pandemic!)
A few face masks (I’m still strictly masking in indoor public settings)
A bottle of water (I’m always thirsty and drink gallons every day)
How would you prepare to impress on a date?
You don’t need anything to impress. Just be respectful and be yourself. Your personality is what should shine through. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the environment you’re in and that your outfit is clean and pressed and that you’re freshly showered. In terms of an accessory, I would recommend a simple white pocket square. Here’s a pro-tip: whipping a freshly laundered, white, linen pocket square out of your pocket and offering it to someone in need of a handkerchief is also an incredibly chivalrous and charming gesture, sure to win you admiration and praise.
How important is it for people to reinvent?
That depends on the individual. If you feel the need to reinvent—reinvent! I prefer the term refining. One should evolve and become the best possible version of oneself.
Your take on androgynous fashion.
As we’re evolving as a species, our views on gender are also evolving beyond the outdated binary construct. And fashion is reflecting that. Although the ‘RKXC collection’ comprises of what are thought of as traditionally masculine furnishings, this collaboration is really for anyone who loves classic menswear, no matter the gender they identify with or conform to. I love seeing people of all persuasions wearing ties or using pocket squares, either in the customary manner (with sharp suits) or else, creatively tied around their neck, in their hair, as belts, bracelets or even adorning the handles of a bag. Ultimately, style, to me, is all about self-expression and should never be constrained by societal norms.
An evergreen fashion advice…
Be true to yourself, express yourself.
No idea! Can’t wait to see what the universe has in store for me.