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Crystal for a pocket square

Last December, at GQ Fashion Nights, they gave a few male models dull, metallic brooches, adding a rakish edge to jacket hemlines. Now the brothers and design partners, Shantanu and Nikhil Mehra, are expanding on the idea, courtesy a visit to the Alpine headquarters of crystal company, Swarovski. Long-time crystal fans, they followed in the footsteps of international names like Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood as they identified the ‘stones’ that best communicate their design spirit, at source. ‘Overwhelmed” by 60,000 varieties of crystals, over three days, they settled for 10 in somber shades and asymmetrical uncut diamond shapes. And this includes what American car designer Chris Bangle has just created with the 122-year-old brand — exploring both fully flat and 3D techniques. “We are big fans of the vintage Swarovski, crystals in soft greys, the darker tones. You don’t need to shine by lighting, but just by understated individuality,” begins Nikhil, the younger of the two brothers at 49.

Crystal for a pocket square

At Shantanu & Nihkil’s Fall/Winter 2017 line, The Regiment, which will be unveiled today in the capital, these crystals will be put to work as a ‘modular solution’: pins, jewellery, or to replace the scrap of silk in your jacket breast pocket. “Our men appreciate the idea of these accessories. Use instead of the pocket square. A single brooch could make a simple bandhgala or sherwani more glamorous. Or you could share it with the wife or girlfriend to wear with a blouse or dress, or, heck, even as a weapon!” says Nikhil. The brooches have already made an appearance on social media, via Delhi-based Tarun Khiwal’s photographs, sparkling on trench coat-inspired sherwanis, with both male and female models sporting severe hair and bands of black across the forehead. “Swarovski doesn’t always have to be about bling. We begin with brooches but you will see a whole new narrative at the Vogue Wedding show next month, with more drama,” Nikhil promises.

At today’s show, the rustic bejewelled brooches (each reportedly taking 26 hours to fashion) will be paired with Jodhpuri jackets and draped kurtas, with details like epaulets, convertible Nehru collars and vertical pockets. Perhaps as a nod to the controversy that ensued from last year’s collection, Kashmiriyat, which allegedly explored ‘bullet pellet effect’ make-up, the designers’ media note specifies that the collection ‘doesn’t symbolise protest or military”; rather, it is about fighting “the enemy within - a stereotypical mind set”.

The brooches are priced from approximately ₹18,000 to ₹30,000. The show is at The Imperial, New Delhi, today.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 2:54:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/crystal-for-a-pocket-square/article19278015.ece

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