The recently concluded India Luxury Style Week (ILSW) in Bangalore had quite a few notable trends that are going to be filtering into men’s wardrobe anytime soon. Playful mix and matches, slim fits, splashes of bold colour, etc. ruled the runway. Here are the five biggest trends for menswear and more importantly how to work with them
50 shades of… grey
Possibly the most boring colour in a man’s wardrobe, grey is actually incredibly chic this season. All tones of grey – from slate, dove, granite and charcoal are the rage. And we’re not just talking a dash here or there. Designers are going grey from head-to-toe.
The good news is that grey is losing its rather sedate reputation and is presenting itself in all forms and combinations. The best thing about grey is that it is undeniably classic and can be styled in endless ways. Shades of grey were the clear favourite with designers like Dev R Nil who used them for single-breasted suits and kurtas in stone, pewter and slate grey. Sagar Tenali’s use of Benarasi fabrics in grey was a clever take on the colour. Varoin Marwah sent out his show stopper RajKumar Rao in a dressed down unfussy grey suit – that communicated fashion nous without grabbing too much attention. The standout collection was Ramesh Demla’s rich textures, layered up in a symphony of grey.
The power of a statement jacket can never be over emphasised. A fitted and sharply tailored jacket is to men what a little black dress is to women – dependable, versatile and timeless. From preppy to school boy and dressy the ILSW runway was awash with jackets in all hues and styles. Shravan Ramaswamy showed this new wardrobe staple in its checkered avatar while Samant Chauhan’s medallion encrusted linen jackets were rugged yet uniquely wearable. Dev R Nil’s fitted and sharply tailored jackets with white jeans oozed style confidence. Internationally too the jacket received backing from the likes of Timo Weiland, Hérmes and Patrik Ervell. That alone should be enough to see it leading the pack come next season.
How to own this trend: A bomber jacket is exceptionally easy to wear with everything from a crew neck T-shirt to a patterned short-sleeved shirt. For a simple, no-fuss look it could be dressed down with a pair of distressed jeans and leather trainers. Or dressed up with a button-down shirt and cropped trousers. It’s an investment piece that’ll work for most of the year.
Colour me bold
There’s a strong undercurrent of bright shades throughout menswear this season. And it’s much more than a salmon pink button-down shirt. The catwalks are awash with hot, shocking, in your face colours. Dubai based designer Varoin Marwah showed a line of suits that was raucous, riotous and flew right in the face of what we might usually consider masculine and wearable. Gym-buff models sported pink, green, yellow and blue suits worn with polka dotted shirts and bow ties. Bangalore’s Manoviraj Khosla also put his own spin on the colour trail with suits in sky blue, cobalt blue and all shades of green. Rust orange, which is big this season was also used generously. Design genius Sharad Raghav presented a softer, more modest rendition of the trend in the form of shirts, waistcoats and jackets using colour gradation – best for those looking to dip their toes in the water, rather than dive in head first.
How to own this trend: Pulling off colours takes chutzpah. Our advice is to stick to complementary colour chart – yellow is perfect with purple, green goes with red and orange absolutely sings with a bright blue. A boldly coloured and/or patterned tie or cravat to a suit makes for an easy starter. Choosing a pair of bright coloured socks goes a long way in of showing some personality. A patterned or solid sock is a nice way to shake things up.
Men are getting ready to show a little ankle as trousers get shorter this season. Having the hemline about an inch above the ankle with a flattering taper at the bottom is the trend. Designers in Milan and London are also backing the short trouser look. Models at ILSW flashed a sliver of skin around their trouser hems. Designers like Kirti Rathore and Sumit Dasgupta cut their trousers just a fraction above shoes, while some styles featured buttons at the bottom of the trousers leg. Rohit Kamra’s royal version was wide through the thigh and tapered at the ankle.
How to own this trend: The beauty of the cropped trouser is that it can be used to show a bit of skin or a flash of colour with a sock, or really go all out and reveal a lot more. Men need to pay attention to the trouser width while adapting this trend. It needs to be narrow for a shorter trouser to look right. Straight cut trousers don’t do justice to the cropped look.
Snug fit suits
After tight t-shirts and shirts now it’s the turn of the suit to get much snugger than what it was. Fashion pundits hail the trend as the biggest change in men’s fashion in more than a decade. Patented and popularised by high-end designer labels like including Calvin Klein Collection and Paul Smith the slim trend was clearly a favourite with most designers at ILSW. Dev R Nil and Abhishek Dutta’s slim suits could be embraced by both 20-somethings, as well as men in their 50s. Kirti Rathore’s skinny suits were tapered enough to highlight those features that men work so hard on at the gym.
How to own this trend: The key word is ‘Fit.’ The jacket should skim the shoulders, nip in at the waist, and be long enough to cover the backside. There should be enough room to slip your hand between your chest and your buttoned jacket, to feel snug but with some space to move.