Menswear for the first time at AIFW16
Menswear for the first time at AIFW16
Among the barrage of stalls showcasing womenswear, stood out a few that were doing collections specifically for men. Though, just a handful in number, the menswear designers seemed incredibly positive about their collection and exhibits.
The fact that Amazon India Fashion Week is showcasing specially curated menswear for the first time ever is also something that is incredibly encouraging for the young and upcoming menswear labels, especially with three of them-Ujjawal Dubey, Divyam Mehta and Rohit Kamra getting a chance to showcase their exclusive collections on the runway too in the upcoming days. Not only is this category new to the India fashion week, but it is also bringing in something entirely unique to the fashion table in India.
Men getting trendier… The traditionally popular notion when it comes to men is that they are not too fond of fashion and they are not so conscious about their attire when compared to women. However, with the change in times this notion too seems to be changing, as men are not only getting conscious about what they are wearing but they are also willing to splurge on their wardrobe.
Commenting on the inclusion of menswear at the fashion week this time, Digvijay Singh, owner of his namesake label stated, “The FDCI’s decision of including menswear this time is definitely going to make an impact on the market. I see this platform as a place where I can look to mark my presence; I have already received some orders.”
He further added that, “I have been designing for men since the past 10 years and I have managed to survive. Most designers generally prefer to do womenswear, as it has a much bigger market but now even menswear is growing, it’s a slow process but it is happening. Men are getting trendy!”
“Since the past 6-7 years things have started changing. Now men are indulging in clothing, they are spending on themselves and they want to look young and stylish. Times are changing and its better late than ever. It’s the beginning of the menswear journey at India Fashion Week and I am happy that Sunil Sethi has taken this initiative,” stated Rohit Kamra, owner of his eponymous label.
Menswear designer and owner of label Antar-Agni, Ujjawal Dubey too shared a similar statement, “Men are getting a little more experimental now and this makes the FDCI’s decision of including menswear this time more relevant.”
Though the number of designers doing menswear was less, but each had a collection that has been inspired from a completely unique concept.
Digvijay Singh who started his label way back in 2006 attributed the traditional culture of Gujarat as his main inspiration and it could be clearly seen in the kind of silhouettes and designs he had used. On display were mainly jackets and though they had western cuts, they were derived from Indian ethnic background and were made from Indian textiles and fabrics such as silks and handloom material.
Royal Rajasthan was the inspiration for Rohit Kamra. “My story is all about made in Jaipur, as I belong to Jaipur. So, my collection is basically for a person who feels like a maharaja. These garments are traditional but with a modern twist,” explained Rohit, who had on display a range of ethnic menswear line of jackets, breeches, shoes and jewellery.
Divyam Mehta on the other hand had on display a collection that offered a perfect fusion of Indian and western silhouettes that drew inspiration from trees and textured patterns, which gave off a welcoming feeling of freedom and blissfulness.
Antar- Agni’s collection titled ‘The Red In Us’ consisting of a lot of asymmetrical kurtas, jackets and trousers was also incredibly unique on its own, as it explored various emotions that are associated with the colour Red and featured a controlled use of oxidized red as an extreme element. Talking about the theme, Antar-Agni’s co-partner, Saumya Nagar explained, “We have always been doing greys, but this time we chose red, as it is a colour that brings out the insanity in us.”
Designer collection – not so out of reach…
A designer collection has always been associated with the high-end target market, but this notion has been proved wrong by the present exhibits, as the collections on display are not only incredibly stylish, but extremely affordable as well.
This just shows that the designers have finally realized that sticking to a niche market works if it comes with the right price tag. Most menswear designers had their collections ranging from a mere Rs. 5,000 to maximum Rs. 30,000. While a decent shirt could be bought at a price of Rs. 5,000, for jackets the price range began from Rs. 12,000 going up to Rs. 25,000.
Overall, it was interesting to see the promotion of menswear, a category that has been mostly neglected till now. With their target market being simply stylish people, the menswear labels clearly stood out. Many of them were seen attempting to bridge the gap between casuals and ceremonial wear.
As Ujjawal Dubey rightly said, “Men should dress thinking everyday is a special day!”