Rethinking Dandyism

by MR Magazine Staff

The pressure to be new makes the fashion ramp a carousel of constantly changing visuals. A competitive reflex perhaps in a saturated market. Menswear designers especially are drawn to the subculture of dandyism, espoused by a few, most famously actor Ranveer Singh. This “newness” gets interpreted through peacocks strutting in green dhotis or floral suits, gold shoes, shaven chests shining through gossamer mulmul tunics or hugging jackets minus buttons. The illusion is of boundary-busting menswear. When these images fade out, you stumble, again, into the real man. A CEO, an industry leader, a banker, a bureaucrat, a businessman, a writer, a realtor, a Silicon Valley dude even. None of those clingy orange trousers, silver bracelets or see-through vests can be seen on this man, who, in all probability, fires the female gaze. There is a mismatch, a dissociation between fashion’s images and its actual consumption. Most well-dressed, heterosexual men in India remain mired in the conventional masculine dressing matrix—sharply tailored fits, white or dark shirts, black T-shirts, black or brown shoes, black trousers or denims. The visible shift is in the increasing refinement, quality and taste, boosted by widening retail. “Change”, though, remains largely about a quirky print on a tie or a pocket square. Macho rules. Thankfully, some will say. Read more at Live Mint.