Short `kurtas' have zoomed up the fashion calendar this summer, as men's fashion gets experimental with cuts and fabrics.
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MEN'S FASHION has certainly come of age. Couturiers are increasingly looking at styling for men. The men's trousseau is being given a makeover and this section is perhaps the most-designed section in a man's wardrobe. From sherwanis, galabandhs, jodhpuris to kurtas with stoles and even dhotis, the repertoire has improved. Casual dressing too comes in for change. The latest fashion statement seems to be the short kurtas.
The conventional full-sleeved, loose-fitting formal shirt has been snipped to a half-sleeved, tight, gut-hugging dangerously short shirt. The kurta has also undergone a similar metamorphosis. Result: the condensed adaptations are in vogue, perhaps even more than their cousins from the good old' days.
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"The short kurta in particular, is the coolest androgen wear among the youth this summer," asserts Con'traditions designer, Abhay Harkauli. Extremely fashionable yet practical with no fuss, short kurtas have become a huge hit even internationally. In Hyderabad, with mercury scraping the roof, one can beat the heat in style with these ethno-chic kurtas, Abhay continues.
Echoing similar views, designer Sashikant Naidu says, "This season, styling tends to be unisex with silhouettes like kurta shirts, in vogue. An underplay of minimal embroidery on the neckline completes the look of the kurta."
The material used is mainly cotton, although fabrics like chiffons, crushed tissue, crepes, chikans, hakobas, nets and stretch fabrics, which were once the exclusive preserve of the female of the species, are also finding favour. "And the best part is that one can wear them on any occasion as short kurtas fit into most classifications - be it the club line, evening wear, easy day wear, active evening, informal or smart casuals," says Vivek Khurana proprietor of high fashion stores like Origins and Journey.
SUMMER WEAR: Look cool and comfy in short `kurtas'
"These short kurtas are selling like hot cakes at Journey. The fabrics used are linens, textured cottons, porous khadi, crinkled textured cottons and cheese cottons," Khurana says adding that these should be teamed with a pair of denims or cotton trousers. Woollen and polynosic pants are a strict no-no.
While new-age breezy fabrics in summery hues (the colour palate is predominantly light and pastel shades) coupled with trendy clean-cut comfortable silhouettes underline the `summer collection for men' on display at Con'traditions, Sashikant Naidu's line of short kurtas toe the international line, with irregular vertical stripes, diagonal stripes and tattoo prints for sheer fabrics. "I have experimented with some shades of pink and yellow and the combinations are spectacular," says Sashikant.
Slim-fit kurta shirts with full and three-fourth sleeves rule the scene in most outlets and departmental stores. Necklines range from round necks, boat necks and vee necks to some avant-garde collar with deeper slits.
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"Minimal detailing done with hand (blanket stitch, kantha stitch, bead work, sequins and raffia) placed unconventionally gives the kurta shirt a unique look. It can be carefully used to conceal or reveal the profile of the wearer," says the Con'traditions head designer stressing on the functionality of the kurta.
"The prime look for the menswear line is sporty chic featuring good looking, well fitting and feel good wear," he continues.
The prices usually range from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1,500, depending on the fabric and the amount of work done on it. "I have grown up with short kurtas. I find them very unrestricting. I don't know why it took such a long time for it to come to fashion. They can be intelligently stitched and besides the comfort can make one look really trendy," says Anand George, Process Associate, G.E.
Going by the way kurtas have caught on with the crowd, it looks like they are here to stay. Says Vivek Khurana, "I think the style will remain. The fabrics or colour might undergo a change, but short kurtas as such, are definitely here to stay." And will the length suffer any more? "Quite possible," he says. So anyone for mini-kurtas?
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