Day 1 of Van Heusen India Men's Week 2011 couldn't have ended on a better note with designer Tarun Tahiliani, known for his elaborate drapes and embellishments, debuting in the men's wear category and mesmerising his audience with a line that was luxurious and coarse at the same time, symbolising the spirit of the timeless traveller.
Theme: Taking from our tradition of using drapes with every outfit, the latest range by the designer goes the 'New Democrazy' way by exploring structured draping in jackets, waistcoats and all sorts of tunics. In an attempt to recreate India with a variety of techniques, the designer presented tussar, stretch wools, cotton linen and voiles in a blend of draped and twisted forms to describe the 'modern fakir' or world traveller.
Collection: What swept the audience off their feet was the conviction with which the collection was presented complete with the atmospherics created by the AV in backdrop playing videos of remote Indian villages in sepia mode, and the soulful renditions by live Rajasthani folk musicians, taking Tarun's maiden evening in men's fashion to a different level altogether. A traveller's easy attitude was essayed with a range of cotton linen pants and Jodhpurs, men wore folded till the ankle with white cotton shirts, blazers, asymmetrical tunics and flowy coats. Not to mention, coarse woollen drapes in earthen shades with sleeve-like structuring. For every season and mood, there was an outfit, and hats off to the designer for articulating it so well.
Accessories: Bags and comfortable suede shoes sans socks, and sometimes leather jootis, complimented the fitted pants, Jodhpurs, pleated pants, clean cut coats, and the assortment of drapes. Broad leather belts, on many occasions worn over the shirt, added a sense of drama of the collection. But the cotton and voile shirts patterned with a knot around the neck much on the lines of a tie-meets-muffler, created a bold statement while exuding vintage appeal.
Colours and Silhouettes: With a rugged yet sensual display of clothing for men, while steering clear of the dandy element which most designers try to infuse, Tarun did not confuse aesthetics with modernity. The timelessness was manifest in the way drapes changed into shirts, coats and tunics while the colour palette progressed from black, beige, roan, grey and nudes to ecru and taupe.
On his inspiration behind the collection, the designer said, "I am always inspired by the blend of western silhouettes with Indian drapes, something that isn't dressy, but simple and luxurious." Ask Tarun on always striving to make his outfits luxurious, and he retorts, "Luxury is what it feels like and has nothing to do with pricing. And by virtue of being Tarun Tahiliani I can't help what I do."