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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

Amit Aggarwal’s Victore taps into the pulse of men

His first standalone menswear collection combines pret and couture in his signature polymer

Anannya Sarkar Published 09.12.21, 02:32 AM
Actor Vijay Varma in pieces from Amit Aggarwal’s Victore collection

Actor Vijay Varma in pieces from Amit Aggarwal’s Victore collection

If you look at the designs from Amit Aggarwal’s Victore collection, you might take an instant liking, irrespective of your gender. Structure meets polymer in this collection that has been designed for men and that marks the designer’s first foray into menswear with a standalone collection. When I catch up with Amit on the phone, I start by telling him how much I love some of these jackets and he says, “I can’t even tell you how many women have come and tried the menswear jackets and it’s nice to see how progressive clothing has gotten!”

In a collection shot with actor Vijay Varma, Amit has merged both couture and pret as he taps into the pulse of men’s shopping habits. Shades of ivory, blush, beige and mint to bold tones of ink blue, ice grey, bottle green, pewter and black have been combined with the dexterity of techniques such as handweaving, hand-molding appliques, 3D pleating and hand painting to beget tuxedos, jackets, waistcoats, bandhgalas, sherwani, kurtas, dhoti pant sets, long-line shirts and kimonos. Amit tells us more:

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Amit Aggarwal

Amit Aggarwal

What led to the conceptualisation of this collection?

Technically, we have done menswear earlier but this one is a more exhaustive collection and it targets a larger audience for even men — from festive to edgy and therefore, for multiple occasions. Of course I think that polymer being one of the most signature materials of the brand, it does always come into the picture when we design the clothes. But how it lends itself differently to menswear and womenswear was an important factor. Men too like a little bit of shine, structure but also subtlety. So a lot of treatment to the kind of polymer that we use or a lot of hand-painting the polymer and splicing and embroidering it were giving it a newer language.

And how has the reception been?

It’s been quite great, not only from the fact that men are trying it on but also from the fact that a lot of women are also trying it on. It is actually a bit of double whammy where one outfit could actually suffice for both men and women (laughs). I did not expect this kind of an overwhelming response and I am quite happy and surprised too.

Polymer is such an interesting material that you have made a signature of your womenswear lines. But since that association has stuck, how did you deal with it while using the same material for menswear? Did you have any reservations about it?

I feel that material does not have a gender and it’s the application of the material that decides the design and how we create the material to understand a more masculine mindset is the design language that got extended. I used the word “masculine” because it is not about male or female but it’s about someone who likes structure, finer details and I think that everyone appreciates a well-designed outfit now, irrespective of the gender.

I think that the colour sometimes decides if it is more oriented towards a man or a woman and if you see the colour palette here, you’ll find it to be a little subtle. I think that is the biggest differentiator between menswear and womenswear. But I do feel that if the same collection was shot on a female, it would look different. Technically once it’s on the hanger, you are not really seeing a body-type so it is free for interpretation. I also feel that a lot of clients who walk into the store have evolved to the stage that they understand that they are ultimately buying a design product and what they like.

You have combined couture and pret in this collection. So what is the trickiest part of designing for men?

More than the design, it has a lot to do with the psychology of how a man thinks and how a woman thinks. I think that when it comes to fashion, women have more patience. When a woman comes to shop, she comes prepared that in couture, the fitting sometimes takes time and even if the sample fits, the right fit has to be custom-made. For men, they don’t always see it this way. So I think women have more imagination than men and if it does not fit right the first time, men can’t imagine or think beyond it. Also, men do not tend to shop as much as women do and when they do, they like to buy stuff at one go, instead of visiting many times. Therefore, launching the collection at one go makes the men explore all the options at the same time.

Pictures: Courtesy of Amit Aggarwal

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