Style March

Indian Express

Style March

Van Heusen India Men’s Week 2011 begins with two good shows

Hot Cholcolate Nudge

Tarun Tahiliani

The term “The New Democrazy” was unleashed by designer Tarun Tahiliani last year with his Spring-Summer collection at the Wills India Fashion Week. So, on Friday, when his new men’s collection walked at the Van Heusen India Men’s Week 2011 in Delhi, the collection note reminded everyone that the designer still lived in a “democrazy”. Tahiliani’s is a republic of drapes. A group of turbaned and moustached qawwals from Rajasthan, their uplifting Sufi music with rustic underpinnings enthralled the audience as male models walked without fuss or fanfare in draped jackets, waistcoats and tunics. “Modern Fakirs or world travellers” added Tahiliani on his note, obliged perhaps to coin new clichés like new trends every season. But if you looked carefully, there was indeed a quiet sense of self in the styling, the Fakir temperament of their wearers was made evident in the way they carried off the elitist, socially wearable versions of Jodhpurs and twisted drapes. Shades of taupe, greige, cinnamon, tiramisu, frozen black forest and ecru snuggled into black, the dominant hue of Tahiliani’s “India Reinterpreted”.

If a fashion show must indicate a phase of the designer’s creative mind and the times he lives in, Tahiliani tells us that the world will always love the classic and the unostentatious. Yet, “democrazies” will be about swagger and pleasure. But once that dominance is clear, there is plenty of room for contemporariness, suggested in the way a man combines a plain Rajasthani jutti with a cropped black trouser and a structured jacket. Some garments were delicately embroidered in colours of the fabric; others texturised to reveal luxurious craft. It was a Tall, Dark and Handsome collection.

Boys With Their Toys

Arjun Khanna

Designer Arjun Khanna’s opening show at the Van Heusen India Men’s Week 2011 at The Grand Hotel in Delhi, was dramatic. A mix of sophistication and grunge, masculinity and fun — Khanna’s collection called “Action Men” referenced from the dark fantasy of those wanting to be Sherlock Holmes. Male models sashayed down the ramp, sporting mysterious smiles in linen kurtas, pleated jodhpurs and fitting tartan pants. Boney M’s Daddy Cool juxtaposed with the sound of airplanes set the background score — some of Khanna’s boys even did a little jig on the ramp.

The designer used linens, wool, velvet and leather in this collection, paying attention to detailing the characters he had etched in his mind. The collection also flaunted some unusual combinations — kurtas with polka-dotted ties, white jodhpurs with a black velvet jacket and a hat. Brown, black, white and red were the primary colours of the collection. Khanna’s obsession with props was also evident as models walked with cameras from the 1940s, black umbrellas, fake pistols and square vintage briefcases.

From imbibing the mysterious aura of Holmes to working a mundane job at an MNC, Khanna seemed to have factored in a gamut of thoughts. They were for men, who first want to be boys. What we liked the most were knee-length boots and pink scarves in masculine ensembles. When Khanna walked in for his final bow, the models faded away; he gave them a run for their money with his imposing walk and a near-perfect swirl.