A Celebration of Exquisite Textural Craftsmanship and Modern Men’s Fashion

With 3D printing, zero-waste pattern cutting and metallic highlights, he has clear gone against the grain and set the bar high for men’s occasion wear

Ace designer Kunal Rawal didn’t have to look too far away from home while seeking inspiration for Dhoop Chao (meaning light and shade)—his upcoming showcase at the Indian Couture Week 2023. For, he found it in the constantly evolving vibrancy of young India and by observing a yearning for multifunctional festive occasion wear. “Today marks an exhilarating phase as men approach fashion as an experiential journey, prioritising comfort and embracing cleaner, sharper silhouettes,” he avers. In a freewheeling chat, Rawal shares the inside track on the hotly-anticipated menswear range:

What inspired your collection, and which pieces do you consider the highlights?

The collection draws inspiration from the rich tapestry of our country, celebrating its diverse cultures. Each signature silhouette is reimagined with innovative architectural shapes and textures, creating a unique sensory experience. From intricate thread-dipped pieces to embroidery and 3-dimensional motifs, our garments are thoughtfully crafted to immerse the wearer in tactile luxury. We believe this collection embodies the essence of Kunal Rawal while offering a fresh and unparalleled experience. Among our standout pieces are the experimental lungi pants, a silhouette that excites us greatly.

How do you adapt to evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements in fashion?

We embrace technology’s transformative role in fashion, exploring its potential in fabrics, construction, and design. A prime example is our glow-in-the-dark sherwani, developed during the Covid era, offering grooms a versatile look that transforms under UV lights. This thread-tipped piece with ivory French knots is perfect for the groom’s look. The same garment takes on a different design, glowing in the dark, presenting a remarkable fusion of technology and craftsmanship.

How would you describe the current state of menswear, its evolution, and future prospects?

Today marks an exhilarating phase as men approach fashion as an experiential journey, prioritising comfort and embracing cleaner, sharper silhouettes. Menswear is experiencing a delightful shift, and the future holds even more innovation and individuality in men’s fashion choices.

Where does India stand on the global fashion scene, particularly concerning couture?

India’s presence on the global fashion map, especially in menswear, is highly relevant. The youthful spirit of India serves as an endless source of inspiration. Our couture transcends geographical boundaries, catering to modern global grooms who seek classical yet contemporary aesthetics. We firmly believe that Indian couture can leave an indelible mark on the world stage, driven by our passion for pushing the boundaries of modern-day couture.

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