Arjun Khanna, who is synonymous with menswear in India, showcased his new collection at the India Beach fashion week recently.
Khanna’s show ran to a full house, and there was a palpable anticipation as he returned to the runway after a short hiatus. The show didn’t fail to impress, with his trademark attention to detail and a crisp line up. We talked to him about what he has been up to.
You’ve done a runway show after a hiatus. Tell us a bit about your time off and how you prepared for it.
Yes, I showed after about two years. I was also down after my accident last year in February, so that took a bit of a toll on me. I prefer to show when I have something strong to say, as I treat my collections and the ramp as my canvas — I can’t just churn out show after show. Every show, however big or small, saps me and I put a lot of creative energy into them.
You also spent a lot of time in Goa. Tell us how that helps your creative vision.
Goa has a lot of creative energy that one can use, and I did a lot of thinking and conceptualised many ideas. Besides, it’s full of churches and chapels and I’m a firm believer in Mother Mary, and this too kept me very connected to the place — in fact, this collection was almost like a homecoming of sorts, therefore I had Mother as many embroidered motifs on a few of the jackets and waist coats.
What is a big trend for menswear this season, according to you?
On the international runway, there’s a lot of deconstruction and oversized clothing happening, which really isn’t my philosophy. I stick to my style, which is impeccable tailoring with a twist, and lots of textured detailing and construction. I play with many contradicting fabrics and textiles and put them together, which is my edge and has become my forte of sorts. The mastering of fine tailoring and understanding the male body is needed to achieve this.
As a veteran, what according to you has been the evolution in the menswear domain in India?
I feel that we have evolved slowly and steadily – men today are willing to experiment with cuts, and colour too. Men are far more in shape, and there’s less of a herd mentality — they want to stand out and be different and unique. There is attention to grooming and fitness, so this helps the designer as well.
The collection you recently showed had a lot of beige and white. Is there a colour palette that you are partial to?
I’m always partial to these colours, especially black. But this collection’s palette was solely catering to Goa and IBFW, and besides, I wanted to focus on the cuts and detailing, so I kept it stark.
A lot of your pieces have a keen attention to detail, and they also have a strong biking element. Is this a trait from your penchant for biking?
My forte is strong detailing and finish, which I always emphasize on, and yes, biking tends to trickle into the creative process, especially in Goa, since it fits the look too.