Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI: Ravi Bajaj launched his Spring/Summer 2006 Collection in the Capital recently, bringing along a fusion of timeless appeal and the latest in technology. "Fashion to me is about making a statement of an un-pretentious sense of style," says Ravi about his collection.

"Every time I design, I keep in mind my audience who are a loyal list of regulars and people who know their fashion and that itself is a no mean challenge. My Spring/Summer 06 is another edition in my ongoing tribute to my clients, " he says.

Ravi began designing for men about 20 years ago and his latest three looks -- Menswear, Sports and Gentlemen -- may seem distinct but will be bound by one underlying element, "unintended luxury".

This year, he offers linen in plenty and has packed in a surprise even here; the denim used in the jeans wear is actually 100 per cent Italian linen. Cottons are an obvious choice for suits and they are joined by a blend of some wool and silk for men's summer suits. The shirts are premium linen. Ravi says, "There is a lot of colour for men in store -- even more than for the women, in fact. That has been deliberate since I have more faith in the ability of men to carry off colours, than they have in themselves. Some Indian men I know carry off colour better than a lot of pretty girls."

The women's wear line-up has ample new additions to the signature cocktail sari that has been doing so well for the past ten seasons or so. There are fine linen suits, and skirts that are sensuously tailored, throwing rigidity to the winds. The dresses are modernistic; blouses are sheer but not too voluminous. In this section, he has used several texturing techniques in everything from saris to skirts. The fabrics are as natural as they can get, with only silk, linen and cotton.