Exciting to be a menswear designer in India right now: Kunal Rawal
New Delhi : Fashion designer Kunal Rawal, who has dressed up some of Bollywood's most stylish men, including Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor, says the menswear industry is evolving fast in India.
"It's so exciting to be a part of the menswear industry in India right now because it's an industry that is evolving, and evolving fast. Till a few years back, it wasn't even an industry and now people are seeing the value," Rawal told IANS when he was here for the launch of his festive line.
"Globally also, there is so much influence coming from India. If there are more exciting designers today in menswear, that's because the market is ready and they are interested. The market is looking for products, and that's why there are more designers in menswear.
"I feel there is strong aesthetic evolution and you have to credit that to all of us. I think boys are far more aware of what works for them and not. You have to credit social media also because everything is out there," he added.
Rawal's festive line was launched in the capital last week. It was first unveiled at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and has been titled 'Perspective'.
The designs draw inspiration from the idea of ‘Perspective'. With silhouettes like over-shirt sherwanis, sleeveless jackets, signature cusp silhouettes and more, this line reinterprets the basic foundation of garment structure. A subtle play on colours and textures, with a seamless blend of monotone, earthy shades and modish blocking is seen throughout the collection.
Rawal started his career after qualifying from London College of Fashion and was selected in the first batch of Gen Next, to become the youngest designer ever at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2006.
He has a minimalist approach to ethnic wear. Using geometry and dots, his designs are understated, contemporary and sophisticated.
Rawal engages embroidery and stitching techniques such as French knots, origami and pleating to name a few. His signature metal insignias and clever use of kadis (vintage handles) combined with his love for retro and military influences lend fun to luxury wear for today's man.
On the aesthetic shift in menswear, he said: "If you remember, the last Bollywood actor that got married before Shahid whose wardrobe we did, you could see clear aesthetic shift. Indian menswear is going cleaner, detailed and functional. Guys today want a lot of their personality coming to what they wear. Motifs are getting minimal."
He says men are experimenting a lot these days.
"Finally, there is equality because girls had so much fun with options and men were not experimenting much. They were having fun with what they had, but I think men today are becoming far more involved with their selection. They are clearer with what works for them and that's a good thing. Men are very clear and instinctive," Rawal said.
Talking about having a close association with Bollywood and if he enjoys working on films rather than ramp shows, Rawal said: "I personally prefer the shows because that's where you get to give the 360 degree volume to brand aesthetics. It comes very loud and clear. From hair, make-up, smell in auditorium... you can very effectively tell your story.
"Bollywood styling is a very different process altogether. They can't be compared and it's not something that I am going to be moving away from. It's just that I am reducing my Bollywood work a little bit to set up my retails and I will be doing lot more from next year onwards."
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