Van Heusen India Mens Week 2011: Looks and styles for all guys

Van Heusen India Mens Week 2011 just concluded in New Delhi, and it was every fashion-conscious guy’s delight. (Women loved the shows too, for obvious reasons… drool!).

There were some fabulous collections and clothes for all guys, and we think every guy would be spoilt for choice! (Why should only women get a range of fashion options, right?).

So we thought it would be fun to match the guys we know with the clothes they’d like to wear. And the results of our little experiment are worth sharing. For obvious reasons we’re not revealing the names of the guys here, just their fashion attitude. Take a look and tell us if you know such guys.

For the guy who likes colour

He likes bright colours—as the mainstay of his look or just to break the monotony.

Below: From Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna; Manoviraj Khosla

Model at Rohit Gandhi-Rahul Khanna VHIMW 2011 Model at Manoviraj Khosla VHIMW 2011

For the geek

Even geeks have a style beyond the dark and thick glasses. Separates carelessly thrown together with a book bag is the modern geek.

Below: From Sanchita Ajjampur

Model at Sanchita Ajjampur VHIMW 2011

For the guy who loves kurtas every day of the week

Who thought kurtas with slim trousers could be oh-so-chic?

Below: From Rajvi Mohan

Model at Rajvi Mohan - VHIMW 2011

For the rebel

Hoodies may have got a bad name recently, but they’re not the same anymore. There’s more than one on a tee, it’s in front, or it’s with a fitted sweatshirt. Either ways, the hoodie still seems to say “I don’t care”.

Below: From Anky

Model at Anky - VHIMW 2011

For the mysterious hottie

I saw one at a restaurant, another driving a Jaguar, and a third at fashion week. Sigh!

Below: From Rajesh Pratap Singh

Model for Rajesh Pratap Singh at VHIMW 2011

For the modern guy who likes homespun fabrics

He likes traditional Indian silhouettes and classic textiles in contemporary styles.

Below: From Abraham & Thakore

Model for Abraham & Thakore at VHIMW 2011

Guys—which one is you? Gals—which of these would your guy wear?

LFW W/F 2011 Day 5: Aneeth Arora layers again, Kallol Dutta loves geometry

On the closing day of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011, Aneeth Arora artfully used fabrics from across India for her trademark layered creations. Meanwhile, Kallol Dutta showcased geometry in his collection in more ways than one.

Pero by Aneeth Arora
Aneeth Arora’s collection at LFW W/F 2011 was an advanced lesson in mix-and-match. She mixed fabrics, silhouettes and colours as she layered a whole range of garments in her show.

Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011 Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011

The young designer highlighted the skills of Indian weavers, using fabrics from different regions of India. It wasn’t just her favourite khadi that we saw, but also kota, doria, chanderi, linen and wool, all expertly layered for cooler weather. She mixed textures and silhouettes from the onset—the opening model wore a crochet baniyan with a khadi skirt, chanderi shirt and jamdani scarf.

Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011

We enjoyed the choice of colours, that included peach, lilac, wine, ash, brick, rose and military green that were fused together as simple shirts, structured trousers, jackets, jumpsuits, and even shrugs and overcoats.

Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011 Model at Pero by Aneeth Arora LFW W/F 2011

While layering is not new to Aneeth Arora or to the fashion world, we noted that this clever layering was something we could keep in mind for next summer as well.

Kallol Dutta 1955
The word “unconventional” best describes designer Kallol Dutta, and while his colour palette is usually monotonous, his outfits are striking and impactful.

In a seemingly simple collection, Kallol gave his own twist to simple garments like jackets, dresses and trousers. The prints were seemingly taken from a high school geometry book, and detailing like braids, tiny pleats, frayed edges and tassles made all the difference.

Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011 Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011

Kallol used wool, wool blends, silk, satins, nets, voiles, kora silks, gauze and calico in black and white (with hints of blue and pink) for garments like palazzo pants, multiple hoodie, disjointed waistcoat and askew dress.

Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011 Model at Kallol Dutta LFW W/F 2011

Yes, unconventional is the right word for Kallol Dutta. We could also add quirky, crazy and out-of-the-box to the list.

LFW W/F 2011 Day 5: Digvijay Singh stays true to organic Bhu:sattva, Vivek Kumar prepares for inner battle

From ethical fashion to fashion designed for a revolution, Digvijay Singh for Bhu:sattva and Vivek Kumar presented collections that gave us plenty of food for thought on Day 5 of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011.

Digvijay Singh for Bhu:sattva
With its certified organic fabrics, Bhu:sattva stands for ethical fashion and for the brand’s Geometrees collection at LFW W/F 2011, designer Digvijay Singh used natural vegetable dyes and block prints on saris and drapes.

Model at Digvijay Singh for Bhusattva at LFW W/F 2011 Model at Digvijay Singh for Bhusattva at LFW W/F 2011

Digvijay Singh combined botanical and floral embroidery with Mughal geometry to create gorgeous, yet simple saris. Gujarat’s khatla embroidery was extensively used with detailing on on shoulders, sleeves and back. Small beads, applique and cutwork broke the monotony, as did the two-toned checks and saris in colours like brown, black, blue and green.

Model at Digvijay Singh for Bhusattva at LFW W/F 2011 Model at Digvijay Singh for Bhusattva at LFW W/F 2011

We enjoyed the collection for its immense wearability and versatility.

Vivek Kumar
My thoughts as the first outfit of the show appeared on the ramp: “The designer’s got to have a creatively twitsted mind!”

Model at Vivek Kumar LFW W/F 2011 Model at Vivek Kumar LFW W/F 2011

It isn’t easy to describe Vivek Kumar’s collection. There were dresses and gowns, but it wasn’t just about the outfits. Nor was it about the knitted bonnets with spiky studded projections. It was about all the small things that made Antarkranti (inner revolution) an astounding collection. Model at Vivek Kumar LFW W/F 2011 Model at Vivek Kumar LFW W/F 2011

The models were geared up for battle in fluid silhouettes in sombre colours like black, grey and steel that made way for green, orange and rust. Steel studs, zippers and sprays of sequins adorned the nets, knits and batik fabrics. The detached long sleeves, knee high stockings, hand knitting and inserted stitches added to the drama on the ramp.

Model at Vivek Kumar LFW W/F 2011

The clothes weren’t meant for immediate retail, but Vivek Kumar’s innovative approach is bound to be loved by fashion lovers everywhere.

LFW W/F 2011 Day 4: Wendell Rodricks brings pristine to the ramp

Ethereal. Sensual. Organic. Three words to describe Goan designer Wendell Rodricks’ collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011. Designed with Himalayan mineral water in mind, Wendell played with soft pastels and splashes of fuchsia in natural fabrics like natural dyed cotton linen and pure silk.

The collection was divided into four segments, each with a distinct approach. The first segment, Naturally Yours, had linen as the base with natural flowers and bark, in colours like pristine white, yellow and wood.

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011 Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

The second, “Indian Water”, would have been great as evening wear. Silk was used in tunic dresses, pin tucked and layered kurtas; and sunray pleats for tunics.

In Mountain Brooks with Sparkling Water, Wendell used ripple pleated fabric to achieve sparkling water detailing in gowns, ponchos, and a pre-stitched sari. The final segment (Raani Pink Carpet Glam) was dedicated to glamourous evening wear like katftans and sari gowns with hints of shimmer and sparkle on the waist, straps and back.

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011 Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

While there were minimal accessories, we loved the specially-made footwear and the odd statement necklace and cuff, some made of nature-inspired materials.

Model at Wendell Rodricks LFW W/F 2011

What do you think of Wendell Rodricks’ purity-inspired collection?

LFW W/F 2011 Day 3: Sabyasachi weaves magic again, one silver thread at a time

There’s always a buzz at Lakme Fashion Week when one of India’s best-known designers Sabyasachi is due to present. Fashionistas, journalists and ordinary folks wear their precious Sabyasachi outfits to the show. Photographers wait in anticipation of Bollywood actors, but there’s a respectful hush as the show starts and the first model walks out.

This season, at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011, Dr Mitul Sengupta danced to kathak beats ending with a series of chakkars, then calmly began chanting classical beats as models glided on head ramp.

Models in pairs and groups resembling North-West Frontier Province families (with kids) strolled out in elegant kurtas, tunics, cholis, sherwanis, dupattas, and wide Patiala salwars and palazzos. The monotonous canvas in the initial garments were balanced with colourful printed dupattas and turbans.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011 Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Then came the splashes of colour—first as long coats and cowled pants, then as printed saris with silver borders in zardozi and Kashmiri thread work.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

The silver embroidery was a stark contrast to the gold and bronze detailing that are in vogue these days, so it was a bold move to say the least. 🙂 I particularly enjoyed the embellished bodices and shimmering wide borders with velvet and net.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Headgear played an important role with turbans for men, and embellished caps and headbands for women.

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Also noteworthy was the Urdu calligraphy on a couple of blouses. Fashionista Sabina Chopra, wearing the same blouse, later told me it meant “bheegi palkein” or wet eyes.SAbina Chopra at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

Sabyasachi retained his favourite flavours with Sundarbans floral prints, colours like earthen colours and red, orange and white, fabrics like khadi, organza, silk, and his signature immaculate tailoring. The special moments—senior models like Carol Gracias and Nayanika Chatterjee, children in fine Sabyasachi clothing, and creative concept of presentation—were appreciated by the audience as they clapped and cheered throughout the show. Well-deserved applause, to say the least!

Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011 Models at Sabyasachi LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 3: Debarun goes B&W, Shyamal & Bhumika play with rich colours and crafts

The 5.30pm show on Day 3 of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 was easily the most contrasting dual-designer show of the season. While Debarun Mukerjee kicked off the show with a starkly black-and-white collection, bridal wear experts Shyamal and Bhumika Shodhan’s clothes were rich in colour and embellishment.

Debarun Mukerjee
Aptly called Kohl, Debarun’s creations ranged from saris, lehengas, churidar-kurta sets, dresses and gowns for women and sherwanis, kurtas, bundgalas for men.

Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011

Using applique throughout the line, Debarun made the most of the two-colour palette with clever use of fabrics (net, Chanderi, raw silk, silk), accessories (scarves, bags, flat chappals) and detail (floral motifs on yokes, dupattas and across the front).

Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011

Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Debarun at LFW W/F 2011

Shyamal & Bhumika
Trust Shyamal & Bhumika Shodhan to sweep the audience away with their luxurious and opulent festive wear, apt for brides and guests at grand weddings alike. The designer duo presented traditional garments like jamas, chogas, peshwaz, achkan, panelled lehengas and cholis in velvet, net, brocade, matka silk, tissue and shot silk georgettes. Jewel tones like wine, honey gold, aurora and beet red, burnt orange, gold, copper, and peacock green, added to the richness.

Model for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011 Model for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011

Shyamal & Bhumika re-introduced flared shararas with floor-length anarkalis, and dressed women in slim sherwanis with diaphanous skirts. Sexy cholis were paired with panelled lehengas. As for the embellishments, we could write pages! They played with zardozi motifs and jaals, wire Marodi embroidery, washed gold, copper, peeta and gota work, along with precious jadau stones.

Shyamal & Bhumika 7 Shyamal & Bhumika 5

Shyamal & Bhumika 8 Shyamal & Bhumika 9

The show had two showstoppers, Hema Malini and Esha Deol. Needless to say, Shyamal & Bhumika don’t need Bollywood to wow fashion lovers, their fashion is enough!
Esha Deol for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011 Hema Malini for Shyamal & Bhumika at LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011 Day 2: Nachiket Barve, Little Shilpa, Swapnil Shinde interpret speed

On Day 2 of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011, DHL presented a trio of designers representing the future of fashion—Nachiket Barve, Little Shilpa and Swapnil Shinde. While all three designers are a few seasons old, their approach was fresh as they interpreted the brand’s theme—speed—in in their own personal ways.

Nachiket Barve
Seeking inspiration from the the fast-changing colours of a breath-taking sunset (The Golden Hour), Nachiket Barve used pink, golden, purple, and red hues in his garments and accessories. Playing on the ombré effect, the designer created saris, tunics, kurtas and dresses in his signature fluid style. Sequins, polki detailing, cutwork and applique were expertly used to create timeless global fashion wear. We also liked the matching neckpieces and clutches.

Nachiket Barve sari at LFW W/F 2011 Nachiket Barve shorts and blouse at LFW W/F 2011 Nachiket Barve wrap dress at LFW W/F 2011

Little Shilpa
Shilpa Chavan’s interpretation of speed was flight and the urban landscape—birds, wings, aeroplanes and skyscrapers. Her models walked the ramp encased in sky and clouds boxes made from packaging material, while the headgear was made with pleated ikat fabrics and feathers that framed the face. Aviator glasses were used as hair bands and glass pieces symbolised eflection.

Little Shilpa at LFW W/F 2011 Little Shilpa at LFW W/F 2011

Swapnil Shinde
Swapnil Shinde’s LFW W/F 2011 collection was based on sound waves, hence named “Speed of Sound”. Swapnil created ripple-inspired shapes with folds, pleats and drapes in fabrics chiffon, taffeta, organza, and crepe, along with materials like acrylic, PVC and leather. PVC rolls and tubes were the most cleverly-used embellishment (for lack of a better word), seen on the bodice, waist and shoulders of dresses and gowns. The soft drapes falling across the front of the garment in waves added to an elegant, high-fashion look.

Swapnil Shinde at LFW W/F 2011 Swapnil Shinde black dress with drape at LFW W/F 2011

Swapnil Shinde at LFW W/F 2011

LFW W/F 2011: GenNext designer Urmi Ghosh brings art to fashion

Urmi Ghosh is an artistic young woman from Kolkata, and has just taken her first steps into the Indian fashion scene. A NIFT graduate, Urmi presented her first collection as designer at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011’s GenNext show last week  in Mumbai.

Urmi Ghosh GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011Urmi’s collection, called “Maar and Moumoune”, depicted the tale of Pablo Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar. (Moumoune was Dora Maar’s cat). Using heavy fabrics for cold climes, Urmi fused layers, textures and motifs like a veteran for dresses, jumpsuits, tunics and smocks with asymmetric cuts. Despite the muted colour palette, the imagery of cats, boots, birds, and a little girl was striking.

Even though Speaking Chic sat down for a formal interview with Urmi, it later turned into a freewheeling conversation on art, architecture, travel and photography. 🙂 Here’s some of the things we spoke about:

Urmi, what have you conveyed through your first collection?
I’ve envisioned my first collection specifically for the Delhi clientele. What I wanted to communicate is my design aesthetic to buyers. Every piece in the collection can be toned down into something very wearable in a number of ways, like by using lighter fabrics. Fortunately, I have been able to communicate my aesthetic in just the way I wanted.

So what is your design aesthetic?
Developing a design aesthetic is an evolutionary process. But I’m a more silhouette- than embroidery-centric person, so you can see that it is very minimally used in my garments. I’m quite form-oriented and like I anti-fits. I don’t go for skin show. As for colours, I prefer dull and neutral colours like greys, which I’ve used. Though I do like to break greys with a bit of colour.

Urmi Ghosh - GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011  Urmi Ghosh - GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011

Tell us more about Dora Maar and how her story inspired you.
Dora Maar was an extremely talented lady, but Picasso left her for another woman. Through the collection, I’ve tried to portray the transformation of Dora into a schizophrenic and recluse who needed therapy.

And the little girl we see in the imagery on your garments is Dora?
Yes, I imagined the little girl as Dora Maar. These images are by Japanese surreal artist Naomi Kobayashi and her illustrations depict this young girl and her hallucinations, which could well be those of Dora and do justice to Dora’s story.

Urmi Ghosh - GenNext designer at LFW W/F 2011

In your collection you have fused fabrics and textures in a very artistic manner. What inspired you to do that?
I’ve drawn inspiration from Cubism, which is a style Picasso was known for. For instance, in the painting Dora Maar Au Chat, Picasso has painted Dora by putting together different shapes and fabrics, and her attire in the portrait is intricately done.

It seems art has been a great source of inspiration for you. Do you paint? And which artists have influenced you?
Yes, I do paint—I love exploring poster colour and painting on glass. And both Picasso and Salvador Dali have influenced me immensely.

Aki Narula is your mentor at LFW W/F 2011 along with other GenNext designers.  How was your experience working with him?
Aki has been a rockstar! He’s been like a father figure to all of us, guiding us, being patient, and giving us good advice. When I was working on my fourth or fifth garment, I got very sceptical of my designs. He told me to cover the clothes I’d already done with a sheet and continue with my collection. I did that, and it worked! Before I head back to Kolkata I’m gonna hug him and tell him thanks!

Day 1 at LFW W/F 2011: Rina Dhaka, JJ Valaya dazzle with their Indian wear

Two veteran Delhi designers (Rina Dhaka and JJ Valaya) showcased their collection in Mumbai on the first day of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 and lived up to their reputation.

Rina Dhaka

Rina Dhaka’s collection of easy-to-wear court couture was completely feminine in colour, silhouette and fabrics. The colour palette included delicate hues like lilac, plum, soft pink and champagne. The fabrics were sheer, and as Rina Dhaka later explained, “from the 1990s”, such as tissue, chiffon and organza. We loved the use of lace and lamé (both contemporary fabrics).

Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011  Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011

The metallic embellishments, however, were modern, with gota, plisse and sequins, along with pewter beads. While most garments were simple straight-cut kurta sets, Rina Dhaka also sent long sheer skirts, lace and cut-out tops and even a pre-stitched sari.

Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011  Rina Dhaka at LFW W/F 2011

JJ Valaya

Meanwhile JJ Valaya, who loves photography almost as much as fashion, showed his collection in a viewfinder-and-lens themed set as giant screens played a series of photographs in black and white, sepia, colour and digital formats. Each theme formed the colour palette and mood of that segment. The garments included saris, lehengas, churidar-kurta sets for women and bandhgalas for men.

Hence there were waistcoats with white motifs, paneled sheer kurta and black churidars, brown and off-white printed saris with crystals, lehengas and cholis with net dupattas and paisleys for men’s Raja coats.

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

Taking a step forward into colour, Valaya used red and blues in long coats, jackets with saris, bandhgalas and lehengas. Embellished yokes, printed saris and floor-length kurtas decorated with rich crystals, stones and sequins rounded off the Tasveer collection. Embellishments also included precious stones, gold detailing and velvet embroidery. BTW, we especially loved the waist pouches and hair jewellery.

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

The mainstay of the collection was JJ Valaya’s Alika jacket in raw silk, shot silk, brocade and lame, pairing it with a variety of garments—saris, lehengas and tunics. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011  JJ Valaya at LFW W/F 2011

Day 1 at LFW W/F 2011: GenNext impresses with creative, out-of-the-box designs

The GenNext show of Lakme Fashion Week throws up some interesting designs every season, and this season (LFW W/F 2011) kept up to its promise. From unconventional men’s wear to grungy women’s ensembles, extreme detailing and a variety of constructions, we saw it all. Here’s a glimpse of what the eight GenNext designers have to offer:

Farah Sanjana
Farah Sanjana’s Collars Galore used origami, metal work and architectural shapes to create mostly blouses and dresses in pristine white. Farah used exaggerated and multiple collars on the neck, shoulders, sleeves and down the front of garments in a stunning start to the GenNext show.

Farah Sanjana at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Mohammed Javed Khan
This menswear collection (called Ex-pression-ist) made ample use of layers for the quirky men, giving them ample options and tips for layering this winter. The look was put together with an “I-care-a-damn” attitude.

Mohammed Javed Khan at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Shashank Raja and Prajwal Badwe
The duo sought inspiration from the Elizabethan era and Indian royalty for their collection, teaming Indian embroidery with fabrics like organza and net. Their dresses and gowns had a dash of orange, adding to the charm of their collection.

Shashank Raja and Prajwal Badwe at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Siddharth Arya
It was 1980s cult punk inspiration all the way with grunge styling, as models at Siddharth Arya walked out with armadillo reptilian shoulders bolero and rag doll micro mini. Taffeta came alive for a layered skirt with metal grunge embroidered coat and the leather appliqué dress with jet sequinned cape and cutout leggings rocked on the ramp. There was even a grunge sari!

Siddharth Arya at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Theresa James and Roger Prince
This Canadian design team sourced fabrics for their collection Retarded Velvet from across the globe, Ghanaian batik, Native American fabrics, South Indian cotton with Tencel and Lyocell. And these were not the only contrasts, as colours, prints and silhouettes were mixed and matched for a fabulous design story.

Theresa James and Roger Prince at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designers

Urmi Ghosh
Pablo Picasso’s lover’s (Maar) tragic story provided ample fodder to Urmi Ghosh’s debut collection, with motifs of cats, boots, tight rope walkers, birds and cages. Urmi used a range of techniques on a single garment, ranging from colour blocking and piping, to appliqué and cutwork.

Urmi Ghosh at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designer

Thinles Chosdup and Niranjana Adhya
This Ladakh-inspired menswear collection combined shades of grey and steel with a few colourful touches, producing garments like asymmetric waistcoats, drop crotch pants, skirt front trousers, breeches and patched jackets.

Thinles Chosdup & Niranjana Adhya at LFW W/F 2011- GenNext designers

Nikhil Thampi
This young designer deconstructed silhouettes with drapes in neutrals for men and women. For women, there were layered gowns and skirts, while the men wore long draped shirts and buttonless waist coats and wool tunics. And oh, the leather inserts added a wonderful finishing touch.

Nikhil Thampi at LFW W/F 2011

Which GenNext designer do you like the most?