March 18, 2019 Asmita Aggarwal

Backstreet Boys

Finally men strutting on nothing less than late Prince’s everlasting number Cream….a break from a sea of dresses, came some abs and toned muscles, as stripes and checks played truant with a generous dollop of Bollywood

By Asmita Aggarwal

It was the perfect song to play in the background—– Rolling Stones’ 60s number I can get no satisfaction with the inimitable Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, seemed it was well-chosen seeing the response of the female gender on the last day of the fashion fiesta.

What happens when there are catcalls, applause and intermittent giggles as an army of washboard abs take on the runway? Well… a barrage of smartphones rise up. Then you know it is the menswear show, the most awaited one at the LMIFW’19. The reason is apparent!

This year too, a bevy of beautiful broad shoulders descended on the runway, and among those were Aparshakti Khurana, the brother of the more popular Ayushman, the man who sang Paani da and made us all swoon. And representing a woman with intellect and of course everyone’s pride Guneet Monga, the one who got us the Oscar for the documentary Period. They walked for Rohit Kamra and his Maharaja-style ensembles soaked in the spirit of Rajasthan’s erstwhile royalty.

“I have explored the classic black and white palette, and in the middle fall greys and beiges. Traditional mirror work is the collection’s high point, inspired by the work done in many regions of Rajasthan. We’ve also explored coral, colour of the season, in accessories. As you can see, we have used semi-precious coral coloured stones as buttons on the jacket that Apar (Aparshakti Khurana) is wearing and handcrafted roses in the same shade, on the jacket that Guneet wears. The fabrics come from the loom of the weavers,” says Rohit.

Rohit has known Guneet for a long time now, and believes she has made the country proud. “I have been a small part of that journey just by observing what she is doing, and how. Apar and I have been great friends, and are related as well. He is on his way towards making it big on 70MM,” he adds.

The emergence of pleating and the Patiala shalwar was an interesting addition in the show with mirror work on handloom sherwanis, white winning the favourite race.

 “I like Rohit’s style. He gives an uber modern touch to royal classics like this outfit uses a Western fabric that is velvet, and meets an Indian fabric which is khadi. Not very often do you see this concoction. You can see that variance in the people affiliated also, Guneet congratulated me for a nomination and I told her, ‘dude, you got an Oscar’,” says Apar.

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The star of the day was undoubtedly Guneet who candidly explained that working in the film industry, you start with the hopes that one day you will win an Oscar. “I never thought I would walk the ramp. I think what unites the three of us is that we are very rooted, ‘zameen se jude hue insaan hai’, that’s why we all connect. The center point is where we all come from, our journey and upbringing and we’re rooting for Rajasthan’s ethos,” says Guneet.

Guneet explains how she has been to the Mecca of celebrating design—Oscars entering the place with eyes wide open, looking at so much creativity. “I felt the same way coming here, looking at everyone – even the assistants running around with little hints of blue in their eyes and a pinch of sparkle on their nails, it was just a reminder that there is so much inspiration all around. So yes, we all follow the awards and all of them are celebrations of creativity more than anything. So today, for a person like me, being 5 feet nothing and standing there in all the power and walking the ramp was magical,” she laughs.

 Menswear, a now growing genre, has more scope for experimentation, unlike women’s wear, a rather saturated space. That’s why you could see checks, stripes, tie ups, and tangerine peeking out of a grey base in Pawan Sachdeva’s offerings along with zippers oddly placed.

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Interestingly, small is now becoming big it the world of fashion, with two pint sized bombshells taking on the runway—- Radhika Apte, the new North Star of many offbeat, non-commercial actors. The pant suit is now officially cool, and both designers proved you don’t need a man anymore to be a showstopper for menswear, women are the best ambassadors, as wardrobe distinctions merge to create a more unisex, androgynous appeal.

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