What Makes These Men So Stylish?
Easily dubbed the most dapper Member of Parliament, Shashi Tharoor carries bandhgalas and kurtas with as much ease as a business suit. He manages to refresh his sombre work wardrobe with a smattering of muted greens and blues, and perhaps a peep of the classic red pocket square. The versatile dresser often wears his nationality on his sleeve, donning indigenous fabrics like silk or cotton.
Style statement: The one consistent thing in his numerous avatars is the high-snug collar that’s become his trademark style.
It’s almost as if the fashion gauntlet has been thrown and everybody is too far behind to follow in Ranveer Singh’s wake. Never boring and so on-point when it comes to representing the times, he can don a tuxedo as well as a skirt with equal aplomb. Not one to err on the side of caution, he’s worn pyjamas on the red carpet and rocked gladiator sandals. His experiments with facial hair are influenced from Aladdin to the Mad Hatter, and everything in between. The problem with taking risks is that it often doesn’t pay but the star hasn’t forgotten its most important purpose — to have a lot of fun.
Style statement: While Singh’s frame with broad shoulders and slim hips make him an easy clothes horse, it’s his flair for quirky risk-taking with his styling choices that sets him apart.
Shanay Jhaveri’s closet is an exciting place. Considering that he plays curator to a lot of contemporary art, it doesn’t come as a surprise that his fashion sense is ‘out there’ but his bold risks tend to work out. A sartorial maverick, he is playful yet manages to radiate a sense of studied panache. Jackets with power shoulders or creative cuts that sit pretty on his lean frame, fluid ensembles that are often free from gender binary, graphic prints and even Prince’s signature purple make him an interesting man to watch.
Style statement: Jhaveri’s fearless choices in picking one-of-a-kind jackets that work as standout pieces pull his ensembles together.
The author is a clean-shaven, rolled-up sleeves kind of guy. Unlike the oft-caricatured head-in-the-clouds type, what we get with Aatish Taseer is a man who often sports a sharp blazer. The colour palette of his wardrobe remains largely black, white, grey and neutral blue; and he projects competence. But with those sideburns we have hopes of some looming eccentricity.
Style statement: Whether it is a polo shirt, a kurta or a work shirt, Taseer’s broad frame is highlighted even more by the constant use of an open collar.
Rahul Sharma’s Micromax orange shows that while he may keep it conventional in the boardroom, he’s not afraid to mix it up with a bit of colour. Having flashed literally every shade of blue, his closet is a smorgasbord of chequered prints, graphic shirts, blazers with piping and sports jackets. An icon of the start-up era for young India, he successfully mixes dressy denim with collared jerseys, and carries off casual suits strictly without a tie.
Style statement: Sharma tows the business line but not in his clothing. He often leaves his top two buttons undone, perhaps as an irreverent gesture towards the corporate dress code.
The only chef to rock a three-piece suit on TV, what would look costume-y on other men sits just right on Vikas Khanna, and his sincere schoolboy charm has a lot to do with it. He often whips out the tuxedo for red carpet events and even nonchalantly dons a bow tie. One can always find him attired to the nines in velvet dinner jackets and tousled hair.
Style statement: Not satisfied with ‘hanging out’ gear, Khanna always spruces up for the occasion. That does not always mean a suit; his luxurious dinner jackets with detailed lapels have not gone unnoticed.
Amjad Ali Khan
The iconic musician overturns literally every rule in the book — Indian does not mean traditional, mature doesn’t mean dull and musician doesn’t mean a bad haircut. This Padma Vibhushan awardee has been serenading throngs with his sarod since the ’60s and his sartorial sense has remained consistent over the decades. Often sporting kurtas in silk, Chanderi or velvet with embroidery from all over the country, India is a strong part of Amjad Ali Khan’s cultural identity. And everything goes with salt and pepper.
Style statement: To match his varied kurtas, Khan often dons stoles in weaves such as jamdani with traditional motifs.
Loud and proud, Robin Singh’s look is as aggressive on the ground as it is off it. Maybe it’s something to do with football players and hair, be it an undercut, a man bun or blond highlights. You name it, he’s tried it. Add to that multiple tattoos and jerseys and you’ve got the sporty fashion icon of young India. Very LA-casual with hip-hop snapbacks, hoodies and jeans, this is how you do unstudied panache.
Style statement: While Singh’s physique and fitness level render him perfect for casual tees and sports kits, he prefers to communicate his quirk through bright sneakers, both on and off court.
A towering presence behind the DJ console, Anish Sood likes to keep it simple. Big on minimalism, he is most often seen in fashion’s favourite colour: black. Black tees, black suits, black blazer, even a black album cover. The devil is in the details as he accentuates it with studs on the shoulder or a flash of green on a suit. The palette remains largely monochromatic with letters scrawled on tees, reminiscent of ’90s’ fashion.
Style statement: Statuesque Sood can get away with wearing an all black outfit because the colour does not dominate his immense height. He does like to accent the black with a break of white in letters and geometric patterns.
It is a bit of an unfair advantage to be commended for one’s personal tastes when it is also your calling. Designer Kunal Rawal experiments with layering, indulging in slouchy silhouettes with no trouble at all. He’s known for his breeches and short kurtas. His traditional wear has a contemporary edge with accents of neon and unconventional hemlines. Known to dress the men in multi-pleated salwar/pants, he is taking India towards a desi-grunge vibe.
Style statement: A true sartorial chameleon, Rawal is hard to pin down. While his collections focus on different elements such as dots and lines, he shows an inclination for textures like ruched.
NATTY TRENDSETTERS 2015
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Nehru jacket and rose
Ratan Tata, Hermès ties paired with classic suits
Dev Anand, the cravat
Freddie Mercury, the embellished jacket
Rohit Bal, studied flamboyance
Raghavendra Rathore, the bandhgala
Omar Abdullah, kurta-pyjamas
Jeetendra, pure whites
JRD Tata, dapper suits
Narendra Modi, bundi jackets
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