Designer Kunal Rawal talks about his latest collection, the evolution of men’s fashion and his friends from B-town.
One of the leading names in the male fashion industry, Kunal Rawal, is known for his fun twist on traditional Indian wear. The designer, who had Arjun Kapoor as his showstopper at Lakme Fashion Week’s winter festive last evening, is excited about his new collection Confluence.
Explaining the name of his collection, Rawal says, “It’s called Confluence because it’s actually a mix of few worlds that we’ve taken inspiration from. So you’ll see bits and pieces of rodeo, you’ll see bits and pieces of rock and roll and grunge, bits and pieces of the military, which is already a part of our DNA, and it has been tweaked and played with for our market. We made pieces for the kind of occasions we have today, the kinds of groom, and the functions we have today. Everything has changed so much, and the outfits also need to change for the occasion we prepare for. I always think whether I would wear or appreciate it, because I’m a very painful shopper and that helps me a lot,” he says with a smile.
Taking inspiration from today’s youth, Kunal wanted to keep his designs exciting yet comfortable. With a little imagination and innovation, the designer has created outfits that can be worn in multiple ways. “From the time I’ve been retailing occasion wear, one thing I’ve realised is that men today are looking for smarter and functional details. They’re looking at the details in a premium product, but they are also looking at different ways to multitask and wear them. So whatever we put out there, there are multiple ways to wear it. I think this functionality is something that grooms today are appreciating a lot. So I’m sticking with that and making sure all the designs are more comfortable than the last season. I’m playing with the attached-detached concept, where a part of your outfit can be removed and reattached elsewhere so it can be you, and you could make multiple outfits out of one outfit,” he explains. Kunal has also used embroidery to give his outfits a fuller look.
Even at a massive event like Lakme Fashion Week, we see more designers catering towards women’s fashion, but Kunal feels that men’s fashion is catching up. “It has been an industry where women’s wear is more prominent, but I think it is evolving. The menswear market is being seen as an industry now, and I think the evolution is great. Everybody is online and everybody is trying to get new information, so people are now a little more conscious about how they look and what they wear. I think that’s a big plus point, because men are having a lot more fun today with what they wear,” says the designer.
The 34-year-old designer, who is seen posing with many Bollywood celebrities, feels that the new celebs are smarter about the clothes they choose, and are more involved in choosing their own outfits. “The younger lot of actors is very fashionable. They are the trendsetters of the country today, because they are very involved with what they wear. They know their body type and are having fun with their stuff. It’s exciting to work with all of them because they have exciting personas and personalities, so mixing them with my aesthetics is what makes it fun,” asserts Kunal.
When asked about Ranveer Singh’s fashion eclectic sartorial sense, Kunal is all praise. “Ranveer’s fashion is amazing. I think he’s having fun with his clothing and that’s what we’re hoping a lot more men do. Fashion is an expression of how you feel, and that is important,” he explains.
Kunal has been friends with actor Arjun Kapoor for a long time, and Arjun even wrote a heartwarming post, congratulating the designer on opening a store in Delhi. “We’ve been friends and we talk a lot of fashion, but what I feel is Arjun has a very strong sense of fashion. I don’t know if I’ve helped him in any way. Whenever we go out, we both love shopping, he’s also always online and checking new trends,” the designer shares.