There’s a chilly nip in the air and the winter breezes have just begun to settle into Mumbai’s tinsel town.  My sheer white AND off-shoulder tunic drape worn over black ALDO pencil skirt with thigh high side slit on Forever 21 black pointy toe ankle tie stilettos, signal that I should have carried a warm wrap. But the heat is just about building up at the open dazzling lawns of Taj Land’s End, which plays the perfect backdrop to an ink night sky disturbed only by strobe lights, and twinkle bouncing off shiny champagne flutes. The robust Arabian Sea wind reminding me that it was a good idea to wear my curls swept up tight.

It’s the Van Heusen GQ FASHION NIGHTS 2016, the annual soiree that brings together the hot and the haute to celebrate Menswear fashion, carefully curated to showcase the changing fashion barometer for the urban Indian male.  Spread across two nights, the design roll call reads India’s blue collar A list: Shantanu & Nikhil, Abhishek Paatni, Sahil Aneja, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna, Rajesh PratapSingh, Kunal Rawal and Rohit Bal. As all things fashionably late,  post a great build-up over wine, champagne, introductions and cocktail conversations, GQ  got the shows going, keeping the tempo upbeat and the celebrity quotient up scale.

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The Front Row regulars read Anushka Sharma, Hrithik Roshan, Yami Gautam, Sushant Singh Rajput, Rohit Bal, Vikrant Massey, Prateik Babbar, Bibhu Mohapatra, Ashiesh Shah, Karan Singh Grover, Kartik Aryan, Anil Chopra, Arjun Khanna, Mandira Bedi, Ujwala Raut, Kamal Siddhu and Nandita Mahtani, Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Saniya Malhotra, Ayaan Mukherjee, Harshavardhan Kapoor, Sapna Pabbi, Robin Singh, Gaurav Gupta, Tisca Chopra, Kanishtha Dhankar, Sheetal Mallar, Candice Pinto, Dhruv Kapoor, Sooraj Pancholi, Suhel Seth, Mira Kapoor, Akshay Oberoi with Bollywood gracing showstopper honours with Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Kunal Kapoor and let’s get to the collection already.

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I love black, white, greys. Can’t have enough.

Snazzy duo Shantanu & Nikhil for their progressive take on fashion. They unveiled a very chic and sensual, contemporary,  asymmetrical silhouettes. Inspired by the traditional flowing robes of Kashmiriyat tribal men, the collection brought to the forefront the designers skillful art of layering and drapes cut to structure and fit. Distinctive details with leather, metal, neat piping and black-gold hints of zardosi and embroidery on jackets, shoulders, celebrated an elegant, confident, experiential man, comfortable in his own skin as in the clothes he wears.

We must give it to Rajesh Pratap Singh for his garment engineering and deconstruction. Keeping the color deep and dark with a blend of wool-silk, wool-cotton and wool-linen fabric, he brought about a contemporary direction in silhouettes and construction, making his collection pure, modern, comfortable.

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These designers know how to mix-and-match best. Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna brought back the 70’s with a contemporary twist. Sticking to a dark canvas of black, rich burgundy, steel grey, they kept their signature style minimalistic, with jackets going architectural with grid like structures, lots of surface texture and metal embroidery for a retro glamour classical feel.

Always telling a riveting tale, Rohit Bal speaks close to his heart, making him, and very so, India’s celebrated genius. Presenting an adventurous experimentation of ideas, different shapes, incredible silhouettes displayed spontaneity with Bal’s trademark embroidery and rich colour, classic separates


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Undoubtedly, Abhishek Paatni. Strong Asian lines drawing deeply from Japanese war clothing, bold prints and a certain edgy yet eloquent artistic narration to his `Samurais in Mumbai’ collection. The classic kimono and hakama made functional and relevant to modern times, a gear fit for the urban male keeping his rural counterpart in mind.

Sahil Aneja for his fusion meets international fashion playground with a pop of colour, hand painted leather jackets, lots of layerings, long parkas and fun detailing. I think Prateik Babbar was the perfect muse. Irreverence at its `don’t intend to fit in’ best.


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Goes to – forget the boys – Bollywood’s evergreen,  Anil Kapoor. He The Man!! Proves why Old is still Gold, fellas. Go rework those lines!!

An ebullient Che Kurrien, Editor, GQ, sums up the 2 day menswear platform saying, “The designers were at the very top of their game – teasing and provoking us with avant-garde ideas that will soon influence the mainstream. This is the power of the Fashion Nights platform.”

Seeing the industry’s focused interest on menswear, I agree. Encore GQ.

#GQ #FashionNights #Menswear #EthelDaCosta