Charu Gaur

Charu Gaur is the founder/editor of Runway Square. Don't ask her to meet over tea or coffee. She's currently working on her selfie game which recently went for a toss. Tips are welcome..

The Indian Peacock – The Rise Of Menswear In India

Did you know that men spend more than women on fashion?

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The sky always seems part cloudy and part sunny when it comes to fashion forecasts. Although, from the outset, what we can say is that the horizon seems to be lit by the buzz and the snaz of the men of today who go shopping as frequently as the ladies and even spend more (!) on the same. The rise of menswear in India is an outcome of a mutual and simultaneous change of gears both in production and consumption. With the scope of men’s fashion weeks, exclusive menswear brands, an insreasing number of designers venturing into menswear, and of course the esclating impact of social media, men haven’t been mere spectators of this phenomenon. They have responded with equal vigour and our eyes are glued to the results.

Runway Square - Huemn - Menswear In India

Designers and brands like Huemn and Bodice, non-compliant of trends, are on the forefront when it comes to marching the league of street-style loving men in India; men who take on conference rooms in bomber jackets and stride the streets in sneakers giving the Oxfords a pass, are being newly introduced to the country as we, the watchful observers, stand for the slow clap. Huemn shines a light on the outcome of the amalgam of athleisure and street-wear and its relevance here and now with a hint of #throwback.

Nostalgia is big in streetwear where brands and designers are known to trod not one but multiple eras. Take for example the recent popularity of Reebok Classics range (seen on models above) where they brought back designs/elements of design from the 80s and 90s, and launched old-school dad sneakers inspired Aztrek collection. Old or new, You can’t deny the appeal in knowing that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg ran their offices in sneakers and t-shirts and we all know that the absence of suits didn’t cost them a dime.

Runway Square - Antar Agni - Menswear In India

While streetwear has been making a lot of noise, there are plenty of Indian men who are finding their voice in clothes that speak the language of homegrown, sustainable textiles and forge a bridge between the traditional and modern. Antar Agni by Ujjwal Dubey stands at one such beautiful crossroad. The designer exemplifies calculated elegance and the pedestal presence that structure and power enjoy in design. His is the proverbial modern man, brooding yet understated.

Simultaneouly, on the other end of the spectrum, is the Indian man who’s unafraid of dialing up his dressing up. He is open to experimenting with silhouettes and textures when it comes to a black-tie outfit or occasion wear. His interest in Amit Aggarwal’s futuristic aesthetic and Gaurav Gupta‘s flamboyant embellishments is declaratory of interesting times in men’s fashion ahead. This change is a testament of the fact that men’s fashion is no longer exclusively a wardrobe full of well-tailored suits and crisp shirts. The three-piece is a classic, but so is experimentation and individuality!

Runway Square - Amit Aggarwal - Menswear In India

Then there’s also the ‘Bollywood Effect.’ Had it not been for Ranveer Singh, we wouldn’t be seeing men in red suits or sequin track pants half as often as we do now. We are sitting on the edge of our seat as Jim Sarbh’s wardrobe unveils before us and it is a sheer delight to be able to say that with every outfit he wears, we get to know the man better. It is men like these who are making it irreparably difficult for the mainstream fashion brands to be ignorant of the important cultural as well as the economic moment in men’s fashion in India. How are these tectonic shifts in designer menswear in India going to trickle down and unfold in the years to come? The only way to know is to wait and watch as the Indian peacock puts up a show.

Creative Direction/Styling: Charu Gaur
Photography: Anirudh Agarwal
Hair: Shefali Shetty (B:Blunt India)
Makeup: Cassandra Kehren
Models: Peka Fanai (Anima Creatives)
and Madhur Singh Chauhan ( Feat Cast)
Words: Charu Gaur, Shubhanjana Das
Artwork: Shaista Syed (Kitsuné India)

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