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Lines between men, women blurred at menswear fashion show

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Mumbai: Sporting chic suits, some made of copper and stainless steel, female models proved that even women can exude power through garments at a menswear fashion show here.

The day two of the “Van Heusen + GQ Fashion Nights”, which provided a tailored platform for menswear fashion in India, started on Wednesday with ace designer Rajesh Pratap Singh’s creations.

The mostly black and white collection was built with fabrics woven on vintage hand looms with clean lines, careful detailing and international silhouettes. Giving the presentation a global appeal yet keeping it passionately Indian, woven stainless steel and copper wires in satin weaves, asymmetric checks and stripes in natural indigo and window pane checks in wool ikats were used.

The collection brought about a fresh breath of change with draped tunics replacing the classic men’s shirts, androgynous oversized women’s suits and jackets in woven metal.

Asked about having female models at a menswear fashion event, Singh, known for hand-woven and organic textiles, told IANS: “The boundaries between men and women are blurring. I really like to make men’s clothing for women. I gave them (women) metal suits. It was all woven copper and stainless steel. I love making that textile and I just wanted to make a point out of it that women are as interesting, powerful and intelligent and at times better than men.”

The models, both men and women, walked with black bandages covering half of their face. Was it a way of protesting something?

“I always have that thing something which is alternative a nd not just about a pretty face. I wasn’t protesting. We don’t have that luxury. We are just tailors,” he said.

The accessories like scarves and neck pieces further accentuated the look of the models.

“They mostly wore bagh nakas (claw-like weapons) but were not made of tiger claws. We used stones instead. There was a lot silver as well,” he said.

After Singh’s powerful show, Van Heusen’s collection was displayed on the ramp including female models again.

“Van Heusen makes womenswear too. We are a strong player for formal s for womenswear. So, we did black and white, and easy silhouettes for them. We wanted to present the collection along with men,” said Vani Kannan, head of design at Van Heusen about the 1950s-inspired collection that mostly used cotton, linen and wool fabrics.

The Van Heusen collection comprised tuxedos, classic suits, cross-toned shirts, jackets, chinos and slim fit shirts.

“Pizza” actor Akshay 0beroi was happy to walk for the brand in a tuxedo from a collection that paid tribute to icons like Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant.

“This is kind of my favourite zone of styling. The way they used to dress up was different from the men of today,” he said.

Next up was ‘Antar-Agni’ by Ujjawal Dubey. With smart cuts and relaxed silhouettes, the collection had pieces in colours like dark blue, black and grey. There was use of stripes and had a mix of short length ensembles and drapes. Even his creations were flaunted by some of the female models.

“Men and women are incomplete without each other. We as a brand mostly do unisex. We wanted to keep the genre alive… blurring the borders between men and women. So we are doing drapes for men as well as exclusive cuts for women,” he told IANS.

While actor Zayed Khan graced the front row for the first few shows, “Vicky Donor” star Ayushmann Khurrana walked in a cross over black shirt with grey accents and black pleated bottoms teamed with sneakers for Dubey.

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