March 19, 2024 FDCI

Revisiting roots

Whether it is Gaza, Kashmir, Syria or Ukraine, human exodus is captured poignantly through embroideries and embellishments as well as abstract outlines by the maverick Sushant Abrol of the menswear label Countrymade.

By Asmita Aggarwal

He had a child-like excitement every time he begins work on a new collection and that’s what makes his ensembles a work of emotion. This time it is a song an ode to 1950s rock that he wrote and recorded with the help of a Mexican artist which will give his LFW x FDCI 2024 line a third dimension.

But this year he has scored a first, his chipped paint walls have made it to WGSN forecasting site as a trend to look out for, so Countrymade by Sushant Abrol is now setting the benchmark internationally too!

This is his fifth year of inception, for a newcomer the hustle can be overwhelming, as it is a high-octane industry, but Sushant has learnt to be a sponge, and approach things with the right attitude.

The slow and steady approach had paid off dividends, and he believes consistency and showing every six months helps him stay on track, as routine gives seasonality and structure. His LFW X FDCI 2024 line “Road Back” as the word in itself says, is a journey backwards. Whether it is Kashmiri Pandits going back to their hometown, or people like his grandfather wanting to visit their ancestral homes in Pakistan, or Syrians going to Europe, or even Palestinians leaving the Gaza strip and hoping to return home soon, human exodus has been a cultural phenomenon part of human strife.

The line is an ode to returning to your roots, and he says, “it is not depressing at all”, rather it is a bitter sweet symphony. “The challenge has always been to think differently, thus these ‘modern ruins’ are a testament to the undying human spirit,” says Sushant.

The small aspects of those who left their home and return to it, years later maybe even decades, is captured aesthetically through the storytelling with help from embroideries and embellishments that Sushant has used to translate these thoughts.

Shattered glass on shirts prints when he sees his home has lost its windows, or the two broken chairs he used to sit on with his brother is now an abstract outline on a jacket. The old ceramics or “modern fossils” have been converted into buttons to resemble plates Sushant made at a pottery studio, with stoneware clay.

The miniature perfume bottles of the mother who lived in this house once upon a time, are the motifs on his easy trousers. Walls paints are now chipped; thus, the colours are a strong amalgamation of rust orange and concrete.

The denim that was wax coated in the last collection, this time around has been given a cement and concrete coating, which shows the “cracks of time”. “We used rust granules in a powder form and coated the denim with it to make our trench coats,” he explains. The line has denim over jackets as well as double-breasted blazers, relaxed but not like streetwear they have a definitive stricture, without using tapering.

The problem with every menswear designer is the inability to sell daily wear as most men shop big for occasions, but undoubtedly Sushant is a storyteller and he understands the medium of fit and drape quite effortlessly. “My dream is to save enough and open an experiential store soon,” he concludes.

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