Milan: Dhruv Kapoor puts on a fresh and joyful show
Scheduled between two major Italien names Giorgio Armani and Zegna, on the last day of the men's fashion shows, Dhruv Kapoor did not disappoint. The Indian designer, who joined the Milanese calendar in January 2021, unveiled his second physical show dedicated to men and women in the Lombardy capital on Monday, winning over the audience with his young and joyful style, brimming with graphics, colours and prints.
For autumn/winter 2023/24, the designer collaborated with the Japanese comic strip Godzilla, featuring a host of monsters and other horrific illustrations on blouses, shirts, tops, dresses and jackets. A silver coat was naturally spiked with backbones. Some suits with long bell-bottom trousers were daubed with large, colourful brushstrokes. Denim suits were dyed in purple and carefully frayed.
XXL hoodies and aviator suits in colour-block nylon alternated with much more chic outfits, from wool jackets embroidered with sequin flowers to velvet jackets studded with crystals and rod pearls. An eclectic world, where the sportsman rubs shoulders with the romantic as well as the bad boy who plays hard to get.
"I thought of a collection that could dress the most varied personalities. Each monster has its own power and allows people to express themselves however they wish. We made these clothes to make people feel good about themselves," says Dhruv Kapoor, who was also selected in June and last week by the Florentine trade fair Pitti Uomo to present his work in the section for young sustainable brands, S Style.
Emancipating himself from his native folklore, the designer nevertheless plays with references to Indian culture, particularly through chromatic combinations, embroidery, drawings, but also through a playful pop spirit, willingly using slogans. He mixes cultures offering a younger and more contemporary vision of Indian fashion. "My style combines Indian colours, frills and excess with more minimal and sartorial cuts, which come from my training in Italy," he says.
Based in New Delhi, the designer founded his brand there in 2015 after a stint in Milan, where he trained at the Istituto Marangoni and worked for Etro. At 34, he is no longer a beginner. He is already successful in Japan, his first market, and of course in his own country, where Bollywood stars are crazy about his colourful outfits and streetwear, which he introduced to India as a true pioneer.
Dhruv Kapoor is also present in the United States and the Middle East, while Europe is developing thanks to the visibility he has gained since he started showing in Milan. "This city represents a global platform for fashion, which is ideal for me," he says. He has about fifteen multi-brand outlets, including La Rinascente in Milan and Ayin in Osaka, as well as two of his own shops in New Delhi and Mumbai.
He started with women's ready-to-wear and then added menswear from 2021, positioning his brand in the "advanced contemporary" segment with prices ranging from 200 to 1,000 euros. Nearly 60% of its collection is made from recycled materials or recovered from the dormant stocks of Indian textile factories, to manufacture denim pieces and blazers mostly, while embroidery and special finishing touches are carried out by local craftsmen. The company employs around 40 people.
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