Nikhil Mehra – creative partner of the Shantanu & Nikhil designer duo – feels men will ditch the ostentatious stuff in the coming days and, stepping out of their comfort zone, will take the path to subtle fashion.
“Menswear fashion industry has evolved over the years. Now finally, there are huge opportunities because men are stepping out of their comfort zone and looking for things which can enhance their personal style, especially in the occasion wear and ceremonial segment,” Nikhil said.
He said that earlier there was a feeling that men didn’t have any chances of buying things that were without too much embroidery and “ostentatious stuff”. But “now, finally, they have an answer to all those questions where they can add more functionality to the clothes they buy. They can wear them again even after the wedding”.
Nikhil, who pursued his Master’s in Fashion from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM), Los Angeles, also predicted some trends that will create ripples in the fashion world. “I feel drape philosophy continues to be a great trend, colour palette is going back to classic beige, navy, grey and chocolate. There is a strong comeback for masculine ideology, and strong lack of embroidery and subtlety will be at the forefront of men’s fashion,” he said.
From dressing Bollywood’s ‘Shahenshah’ Amitabh Bachchan and music maestro AR Rahman to actor Hrithik Roshan, the designer duo is known for creating a perfect blend of contemporary with vintage through their collections. Along with Shantanu, who completed his MBA in Finance from Ohio State University, Nikhil started working towards making his dream of launching a fashion brand in 1999. The brand was established in 2000.
With growing interest and eagerness to tread the new zones, men’s fashion industry is on the right path, said Nikhil, adding that there are, however, several factors like having more dedicated stores and relatable colour code which can help the industry scale new heights. He said, “We can have more stores, more functional ensembles, be more readily available, colour palette that they can relate to and one of the important things is to have subtle India on their shoulders and not too much of it.”
The two have also dressed celebrities like international stars Serena Williams and Stephen Fleming apart from Bollywood divas Dia Mirza, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Sonakshi Sinha.
The designer duo showcased their groom collection at the Shantanu & Nikhil’s couture flagship store at Kalaghoda in Mumbai last week under Vogue Wedding Show – Groom Studio. The Vogue Wedding Show – Groom’s Studio was a prelude to the Vogue Wedding Show 2016. The three-day wedding exhibition will start from August 5 at the Taj Palace hotel in the national capital.
When it comes to wedding affair, Nikhil suggests “less would be more for the grooms now”. “The mindset of having to wear a wedding outfit is becoming more contemporary. The wedding show is a well-curated platform,” said Nikhil, who made his acting debut with a cameo in Fugly.