Lakme Fashion Week Resort 2020 (LFWSR20) ended with a bang with ace designer Rohit Bal launching his denim collection for men called “Alexander” on the closing weekend, with male models parading the grounds, shirtless. Denim may sound basic, but not when it comes reloaded with patchwork and applique with embroidery. As the designer told indianexpress.com, “the collection is straight from my heart!”
Patchwork denim is a trend that may have seen its heydays, but Bal believes denim has piqued interest again. Another reason he has launched his maiden denim collection is to reach out to the younger generation, Bal confesses. “Brands like Diesel and Jack n Jones aren’t affordable. There is so much value addition that goes into the process of producing a pair of jeans that by the end of it, it costs a whopping amount of 20K-30K. My collection is personalised and affordable, ranging between 8K and 12K, which youngsters can afford.”
“This is just stage 1 of the collection. By the end of spring/ summer we’ll also launch a denim collection for women named “Alexandra” which will be elaborate with detailed work, and blingy in its approach,” Bal is quick to mention.
As a fabric, denim is a safe bet and easy to style, forming the backbone of every man’s wardrobe since the 20th century and is not going anywhere anytime soon. However, is it environmental friendly? Unfortunately, there have been alarming reports that suggest otherwise. A study by the brand Levi Strauss & Co found that the production of a pair of jeans from Levi uses a staggering 3,781 litres of water.
Bal, however, claims he is trying to be as eco-friendly as possible. “What sets us apart from these brands is the quantity produced. We do it jaise ghar mein hota hai (homegrown). We use pure indigo dye and resort to hand-washing every pair of denim. It is more or less like a production in the cottage industry and we stay away from heavy machinery and industrial chemicals.”
Denim dates back to the 18-19th century when Levis produced jeans for its workers. But over the years, the fabric found its way into almost everyone’s wardrobe, with celebrities leading the way. So who according to him, in Bollywood aces the denim look? “Salman Khan really aces denim. He effortlessly styles them in concerts and performances alike. Also, Kareena Kapoor and Angeline Jolie style them and can be seen frequently pairing it with basic T-shirts. Denim has kicked up, it is almost like it never went out of fashion. In India, at least 70 per cent of people wear jeans,” comments Bal.
While denim has been in the forefront for quite a while, the bizarre hasn’t been left behind. Bal mentions “the only time denim was close to hideous was when late singer George Michael wore hot denim pants. To me, denim is best when it is in its simplest form, that is, simple straight-cut jeans. I am not the biggest fan of denim dresses either. However, boot-legged and low-waist variants are my favourites.”
Like Elio Fiorucci once remarked, “Denim is a love that never fades” and we couldn’t agree more. When in doubt, the fabric comes to our rescue and the best way to style it, as Bal suggests, is to wear it with a biker jacket, floral shirt or plain T-shirts. Glam it up with statement earrings and a pair of sleek boots and you’ll be good to go!
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