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Couture for the Discerning Dandies



By Sanhati Banerjee

From offering eco-friendly couture to minimalism in ethnic wear, from weaving simplicity in Indian ensembles to using the unique array of Khatla embroidery designer Digvijay Singh, who designs for DVAR where his recently launched autumn-winter men’s wear collection is currently being showcased gets talking to Plan Your Wedding on why he says ‘no’ to bling, what he thinks about the term ‘Sexy’ in relation to men’s wear and much more. Here’s the excerpt:

PYW: What stands out as the distinctive feature of your couture collection for men?
Digvijay: That distinctive feature would definitely be the minimal use of embellishments in my designs and collections. I follow the ideology of maximum out of the minimum. So most of my pieces and garments are simpler and that is why they stand out more in terms of sophistication, substance and comfort.


PYW: What are the fabrics and colour palettes that you have worked with?
Digvijay: I work with different kinds of fibers. I mostly work with natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk and brocades. I have also experimented with other fibers as well. I have experimented with metal fibers, golden threads and fibers such as pineapple, orange fibers and also with bamboo fibers. I love to experiment in terms of fibers in my creations. The collection at DVAR includes more of linen, brocades, cotton and silk.


PYW: What kinds of sherwanis have you created for the upcoming wedding season: the cuts, silhouettes, layering, design elements etc.?
Digvijay:
In sherwanis, I have not done much of experimentation, at least in most of them. But some of them show experimental streaks as far as the surfaces are concerned; I have used the khatla embroidery technique of Jatts. I create my own motifs. Regular embroidery is done with the staple techniques of zardozi, zari, kota, pita, kasab, etc. Mine is more khatla-work oriented.


PYW: As a master designer, what in your opinion, has evolved in the range of men’s wedding sherwanis over the years?
Digvijay:
Over the years, I think the silhouettes haven’t developed a lot. I have seen people experimenting and wearing different kinds of surfaces. Different kinds of fabrics are coming into the country…you will see people experimenting with fibers and fabrics. Also due to the new digital printing techniques, it will be safe to say that technology is playing a very important role. So definitely, I also keep experimenting using technology with different techniques using machines and a lot of natural fibers.


PYW: How have you differentiated the sherwanis from the achkans in your collection?
Digvijay:
There is a difference between sherwanis and achkans. Sherwanis are longer, they go down till the calves whereas achkans go down till your knees. Sherwani has a front slit and achkans have two side slits. People have confusions between a sherwani and an achkan.


PYW: What are the lowers that you like to pair your sherwanis and achkans with?
Digvijay:
One can wear slim pants, trousers, churidaars and pyjamas with sherwanis. With achkans, pyjamas go really well and create a good flair and combination.


PYW: What are the silhouettes and fits of the bandis?
Digvijay:
Bandis are transformed from a very casual wear to a very formal wear. A bandi is actually a casual wear and when you use a cotton fabric or a wool fabric which gives a more formal look and if you do some printing on it, then it gets converted into a formal wear.


PYW: How would you describe the Jodhpuri pants that you create /have created for this collection?
Digvijay:
The actual inherited Jodhpuri pants have a lot of flair at the top. Nowadays, people are very skeptical (sometimes) of wearing so much flair on the top. So I have a different kind of Jodhpuri pants which are of a slimmer fit and more comfortable.


PYW: What about the jackets and the sleeveless coats––are they formal /semi-formal, sharp and contemporary or bring out something of your signature elements?
Digvijay:
My jackets and coats are a mix of everything. They are a mix of formals and casuals in different types, fibers and colours.


PYW: For men’s occasion wear this season, what are the exclusive elements that you are offering?
Digvijay:
I am experimenting with a lot of linen to suit the weather conditions here. People mostly prefer wearing linen material here. So I have experimented with linen fabrics in my garments.


PYW: Ethnic /Indian wear for men –– how contemporary is it in terms of styling?
Digvijay:
It is very contemporary as I use a lot of Oriental-inspired silhouettes in my designs with the Indian cultural designs and elements weaved into them. A fusion of Oriental and Indian is what my collection is all about.


PYW: Contemporary groom’s wear –– we do see the stylish, but do /can we see the SEXY?
Digvijay:
As far as men’s wear is concerned there is very little scope to add the sexy element in garments. In terms of women’s wear, there can be experiments in terms of necklines and transparency and translucent fabrics. In men’s wear also, one can experiment by adding a little bit of transparency in the garment and including translucent fabrics to add a quirky sexy element in the look.


PYW:You have used layering in your collection – could you tell us more about it?
Digvijay:
I have used a lot of layering in my collections. I have also designed a unisex collection where the silhouettes can actually fit and suit both men and women and does not look odd. So I have used layering there. In our country, you also see few garments which are unisex like churidaars which are worn by men and women both. So I have used a lot of such garments and experimented with the looks.


PYW: What are the fabric blends that you have used for this collection?
Digvijay:
My collection at DVAR includes more of linen, brocades, cotton and silk. The collection comprises of bandhgals, Jodhpuri pants, sherwanis, sleeveless coats, shirts, jackets, bandis and achkans for men. These designs are truly classic pieces that encapsulate the essence of my style ethos of being minimalistic and sophisticated. The cuts and fits are innovative and in absolute artistic synchronisation with the coloured layered and pleasant features.


PYW: Bling – what do you have to say about this?
Digvijay:
As a person in terms of bling in men’s wear, I do not prefer using a lot of bling. Bling is more for women and it suits them better. Keeping in mind Indian men, I don’t think bling is something which will look nice on them, so I try and avoid it in my designs.

 

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