The Directory: Vikram Phadnis keeps it glamorous |

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The Directory: Vikram Phadnis keeps it glamorous
Indian designer brings his menswear to Dubai at Araaish fashion exhibition

By David Tusing, Deputy tabloid! Editor
Published: 21:00 September 14, 2013

dress Bollywood’s go-to designer for all things glamorous, Vikram Phadnis, is back in Dubai. The designer, who launched his menswear line five years ago, featuring mostly traditional Asian outfits but with funky twists, is one of 40 designers to showcase at the next edition of fashion exhibition Araaish.

discount designer wedding dresses Before he heads into town on Saturday, The Directory caught up with him to talk fashion, menswear, Bollywood and his ongoing obsession with gold.

cheap wedding dresses for sale china Q: It’s been five years since your launched your menswear collections. How has the journey been so far?

simple wedding dresses A: The journey has been fabulous. One thing I’ve learnt from this journey is that it’s not about only the bride, there’s a lot that goes into the dressing of the groom also right from the silhouettes, cuts, the fabrics, the styles to the accessories. So yes, the journey is enriching and it’s always a learning experience. Men love styling themselves and like indulging .They just need the right fit and at the right price points. I’ve also realised that there are hardly any designers who design exclusive menswear and hence demand and supply never meet.

discount wedding dresses I enjoy creating menswear. It’s challenging because it’s less experimental. My menswear is a diffusion and a high end line. I do churidars (tight fitting trousers), kurtas (collarless shirts), bandhgalas (jackets with Nehru collars), shervanis (long coats). However suits and dinner jackets are fashion items I don’t use.

cheap wedding dresses Q: From your perspective, how has menswear evolved over the years?

A: I feel definitely menswear has evolved for the fashion conscious male, unlike the early days wherein the bride was the centre of attraction during the wedding. Nowadays, efforts are also made so that the bride and the groom look coordinated, this includes colours, silhouettes, to the extent that accessories are also coordinated.

Q: You have been very strongly associated with Bollywood. What would you say have been the advantages and disadvantages of that?

A: I am extremely thankful to all my Bollywood friends for always supporting and encouraging me and just being a call away whenever I need them. I am touched and obliged with the support the Bollywood fraternity showed for the social cause of rural empowerment in my recent Lakme Spring Summer Show “Swades”.

Having friends from the fraternity can never be a disadvantage. Whatever I am today is thanks to cinema. My brand identity is through films. I have always considered myself to be fortunate to have worked in films and nothing can be a disadvantage. The films I designed for came first and my retail lines came through much later. Therefore to me Bollywood is an integral part of my career.

Q: Like Bollywood, do you agree that Indian fashion has failed to appeal to customers beyond the diaspora even outside India?

A: I believe fashion from India influenced the West centuries ago. Indian motifs and embroidery have captured imaginations often. The current vogue for individuality and authenticity suggests a growing market for real Indian designs.

Q: What are the biggest challenges of maintaining a menswear collection?

A: The biggest challenge in menswear is the fit. For example, there are kalidaar style sherwanis that look good on tall men, if the fit is not right it will end up looking very feminine. So in menswear the major concern is the fit.

Q: Which actors would you love to dress that you haven’t had the opportunity to?

A: I’ve been really lucky to dress almost all actors; be it Sridevi, Amitabh Bachchan or Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra.

Q: You recently showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week. How was that experience?

A: It was a grand experience. The collection showcased the best shades of gold, ivory and whites. I’ve tried to include the element of surprise in my collection. When you least expect it, there will be a tinge of gold peeking out at you. It will be spontaneous. It will be fun. It will be young. But then again, it will be whole.

Q: What can you we expect from your menswear line next?

A: A lot of churidaar kurta with bundis, bandgalas with breeches in Indian fabrics. I’m doing a simple and easy line for men with lots of dinner jackets too. Nothing fussy that you have to think twice before picking it up. My men’s line will have a minimalistic embroidery look and more textures in fabrics. I’m also doing a linen line in shervanis and kurtas. The Diwali season is setting in with loads of simple comfortable wear for men.

Q: You’ve been to Dubai before. What is your opinion about the customers here? Are they any different from others elsewhere?

A: The customers in Dubai are evolved. They know fashion and don’t follow trends blindly. People in business love spending money and are equally conscious of the product. That’s what sets them apart. The clients in Dubai enjoy wearing good clothes and are loyal customers. Once they believe in your product they will always patronise the brand. People in Dubai are always ready to absorb what you offer.

Q: What can we expect from your showcase at Araaish?

A: This year in Araaish I am getting a combination of Indian as well as western wear which includes gowns, jumpsuits, dresses, pants and shirts teamed up with interesting capes and jackets along with menswear.

Q: What does Vikram Phadnis do to unwind?

A: Music and some good sleep.

Q: What are the five gadgets you can’t live without?

A: My blackberry, my AC’s remote control, my TV, my iPad and my iPod.

*Araaish, featuring 40 designers from India, including Vikram Phadnis, Neeta Lulla, Mandira Bedi, Preeti S. Kapoor, Rimple & Harpreet Narula and Surily Goel takes place on Saturday, September 21 at the Al Yasat Ballroom, Al Murooj Rotana, Downtown Dubai. Entry is free.

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