March 16, 2018 Asmita Aggarwal

Sultans of Swing

It’s raining men, even though fashion here is more laissez-faire as the belted robe coat is now the new cool and this time rippling muscles were swaddled in lean hoodies with breezy zips appearing everywhere.

By Asmita Aggarwal

 What gets a hall full at the AIFW with some palpable throbbing of hearts? A Bollywood star, maybe, a famous designer probably, but there’s another sure shot way to getting the female gaze and in a fast changing dizzying world, men’s attention too…..that’s with a menswear show. So when Pawan Sachdeva, Kommal and Ratul Sood and Rohit Kamra presented a bevy of men in some moderately adventurous silhouettes they declared that rugged, gruffy and raw was out and athlesiure will still be sailing boats.

Ratul replaced ornate brooches with keys as ornaments, teamed up white kurtas with linen pants and kept the shimmer minimal but well placed with embroidery patches on the back, lapels and pockets of coats.


The length is where the fun is with the ankle emerging as the new erogenous zone, and the duo gave their men, jewellery, semi-precious stone studded numbers in a largely monochromatic palette. Buttons were another functional accessory that played truant and their unexpected placement made the sherwanis and jackets sizzlers.


With men loosening their purse strings, designers are jumping on to the bandwagon to win their favour so the side strap trousers, a constant at Prada and Balmain, this year is also steadily making inroads on Indian catwalks.

Pawan Sachdeva, a veteran in the field, gave us a warm, furry feeling with his slip ons, as his men with buns, emerged in trench coats with printed backs, as sportswear jackets with greens, mustards and reds peeked out of a largely charcoal dominated colour story. The zip details on trousers, exaggerated collar coats and of course the man who made all our hearts sing Kartik Aaryan, who channelled the spirit of the subtle art of tie ups, a Japanese form of dressing, in his black coat fastened at the waist, made us feel winter is going to be a lot warmer than we thought!

pawan sachdeva

Rajasthan and its dusty havelis and magnificent Art deco architecture has been a countless metaphor for books to films, and Rohit Kamra,  from the Pink City gave us a glimpse of royalty with pie crust collars in satin skirts as well as lightly quilted jackets. Though his forte Jodhpurs, in corduroys and cutwork on velvet sherwanis were hot movers.

rohit kamra

If men decided to play it safe this season, women as always wanted to be the torchbearers of change. And the uncrowned high priestess of fashion Malini Ramani, with mommy Bina on the front row with the ageless Dilshad Sheikh, sister of Feroz Khan, kept her love affair with fringes alive. Fringed saris belted at the waist, dip dyed, to maang tikkas, trumpet sleeves accessorised with turbans paid homage to her inner itinerant self.


Her ten-year-long romance with the Kolhapuri and mirror work was evident in her cape-like blouses as scalloped shoulders made a perfect accompaniment to her draped saris which were technologically engineered to reveal, well… toned thighs.

malini 2

Embroideries are being slowly replaced with texturing, which is the new way to make a statement and Pallavi Mohan seemed to have mastered this art. So her 3 D hand ornamentation, adding feathers and wool work, with an undeniable sheen was intermingled with florals and laser cut, her signature. “The dahlia was my starting point and how I interpreted its bloom is through layering,” says Pallavi.


Fabric manipulations, appliqué, berets, flower belts, big sleeves along with yellow simmered down to mustard got a dash of glitter. She added edge with an avalanche of sequins that gave the shirt dresses, capes and gowns a distinct patina.

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