October 16, 2016 Asmita Aggarwal

The prodigal son

The shirt fuses seamlessly with the eponymous jacket in Dhruv Vaish’s SS 17 line.

By Asmita Aggarwal

Growing up in a family which is the third generation in bespoke men’s tailoring Dhruv Vaish knew that he would eventually enter the family business. Vaish, a pre-independence shop, in Connaught Place was started in 1940 by Dhruv’s grandfather to offer tailored suits and then his father expanded the business with Ramsons Southend.

Dhruv wanted to go solo so he launched his label in 2009, after studying at FIT, New York. “I interned with Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg and worked with Walter Baker for two years before I came back to learn from Rohit Bal for a year. I learnt the subtleties needed in menswear from him as no one does finishing and ideation like him in the country. I never intended to stay back, I knew I would come home and do something to revolutionise menswear here,” he admits.

Dhruv created the label with the desire to have his own identity and not live off his family wealth and fame though he confesses that it was his grandfather’s advice that held him in good stead. “’Do what you do in the best way possible or don’t do it,’ he told me when I was growing up,” he remembers. Therefore, you can see wearable clothing with an interesting play of hues offering an array of casual and semi-formal ensembles at his label.

Cotton and linen are used and given a vintage finish and for SS 17, Dhruv is inspired by Cuba even though he hasn’t visited the last Communist bastion in the world. “I was exposed to their culture while studying in New York and it was their lively approach to life and free-spiritedness that always caught my eye. Those who have been there say that the place still exudes a 50’s charm as if time has stood still,” he says.

With military details, uniform inspired shirts, he has used greys, navy, blues and pastels along with leaf green and aqua’s to create a new vocabulary for men. “We have introduced the shirt jacket which is not like a safari suit or too dressy but a fusion of the two to make something entirely new,” he says. Though being a menswear designer has its challenges and Dhruv admits that more than 90 per cent men prefer classics, so when you add something fresh, it must remain elegant yet ingenious. “Men won’t wear anything too loud even though they are more confident about their choices now, but if you give them innovative tailoring and no-fuss silhouettes they will keep coming back to you,” he concludes.


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