The Milan Fashion Week F/W’23 was opened by Gucci on January 13, and brought together some of the top players in fashion. From Fendi to MSGM, Dolce and Gabbana, Thome Brown and Dhruv Kapoor. The list of A-list international designers included Indian-origin millennial designer Dhruv Kapoor who closed the fashion week on January 16.
Kapoor is best known for his eclectic, quirky and streetwear aesthetic. 2023’s show marked his seventh showcase at Milan Fashion Week and this year his show was scheduled between two of the best, Giorgio Armani and Zegna. He did not disappoint and revived the last day with his collection The Embracer which is a young and playful street couture collection brimming with graphics, colours and prints.
About the collection
For his F/W ‘23 collection, Dhruv Kapoor focuses on nurturing our individuality and inner self with unconditional love. The Embracer is a vibrant mix of colours and unusual pairings that seamlessly fuses tradition and technology, giving life to a new aesthetic for modern society. Asymmetric tailoring, slouchy sweatpants, giant tracksuits and distressed denim are the key silhouettes that characterize the collection. However, the highlight is the coming together of Dhruv Kapoor with the Japanese comic strip Godzilla for a dynamic capsule collection.
Through the collection, Kapoor draws a parallel between Godzilla’s infamous monsters and our alter-egos. The unisex capsule is characterised by oversized draped shirts and comic-print kimono shirts, along with giant windbreakers and character tees featuring a host of monsters and other illustrations.
Still-life patterns exude a tranquil state of mind, while soft aggression is channelled through vivid brushstrokes. Handcrafted embroideries by Indian artisans, including a flaming heart, large foliage and multi-dimensional heads add a flavour of Indian design to the clothing. Dhruv Kapoor has also ensured 40 per cent of the garments are recycled and upcycled from discarded fabrics.
In conversation with Dhruv Kapoor
How is it different to showcase on an international platform as compared to within your own country? And what are the biggest challenges?
Showcasing on a global stage like Milan is a big adventure. The experience is unmatched, and the exposure is tenfold. Remote management before the show is the only challenge. However, we have built a network within the system that seasonally helps us build the shows.
Give us a sneak peek into the new menswear collection at the Menswear MFW FW 2023.
Fall 23-24 takes a positive spin on the concept of Alter-Egos. The collection titled ‘The Embracer’ reminds us to embrace all our versions at once. You can be soft and fierce; vulnerable and strong. You can be an amalgamation of the traditional and contemporary; a romantic and realist. Your obedience can be met with rebellion and your femininity with fire. We live in a universe of different perceptions where paradoxes can be full of possibilities. The collection also released a collaboration with Toho’s Godzilla.
How do you cater to a different culture and audience with your creations?
Our target is always the mind and the soul- devoid of social or political restraints. It’s always about the ‘feeling’, where the feel-good factor is key. Through our seasonal projections, we aim to heal, empower and restore our audiences. It is our aim to assist them through clothes to become the best version of themselves.
Throw light on some key menswear trends for Fall winter 2023 and Spring Summer 2023.
I am not the one to follow the floating trends, but my personal favourites would be head-to-toe denim, unusual pairings of giant and petite, printed co-ords and a hint of pop colours.
A trend you absolutely love and why?
I love a head-to-toe denim look with a hit of pop. Denim has always been a personal favourite. I enjoy the ease of wearing it and the versatility of pairing up or pairing down, depending on the occasion.
Styling tips for men for the upcoming season?
Being authentic is key. My personal suggestion is a combination of couture and street. Be fearless with your approach and own your ideologies through clothes.
We’ll leave you with a few glimpses from the collection!