Gentlemen Prefer Aplomb
Designer Masaba Gupta’s flamboyant new Masaba Man slams all stereotypical notions about menswear. And there’s a new jewellery line too!
Bold, unpredictable and straightforward, with great regard for tradition and culture, yet at the very same time, not trying to offend anyone,” says fashion designer and entrepreneur Masaba, as we slip into a conversation regarding her new designs for her menswear range, Masaba Man. Describing the ethos of her latest collection, her words are actually evocative of her own persona and intrinsic style. Unapologetic
Indeed, this Indo-Caribbean creative spitfire has been busier than the proverbial bee, dipping her fingers into multiple pies—from coming up with the second season of Masaba Masaba on the OTT platform (for which she has just finished shooting), to launching a line for men that slams stereotypical notions about menswear, and now, also unveiling Masaba Jewels. All at comfortable price points, and all infused with her trademark eclectic sensibilities and flair for fashioning wild colours with finesse.
“Like Masaba Woman, Masaba Man is carefree and doesn’t care about the opinions of others. He is someone who believes in himself,” shares the queen of quirk. Accordingly, the straightforward silhouettes replete with bold florals, bright colours, and big motifs redefine menswear in India in a startling fusion of traditional sensibilities with modern needs. Much like Masaba’s own signature style.
A spiffy mix of sherwanis that celebrate Kashida embroidery in resplendent colours set the mood for celebrations. And then there are brooding blacks splattered with gold (like gilded birds) in neat cut jackets and sharp bandhgalas. Call it luxury draped in relaxation, with the fluid textures of moving raw silk and natural crêpes that flatter all forms and form the perfect foil for different personalities.
The focal point for Masaba’s collections has always been comfort and reusability. Each clean silhouette scores on these aspects, bringing in a touch of swag with functionality. Zero fuss and striking, in signature Masaba style. Meanwhile, the designer is also all set to launch her new jewellery line. After fashioning eclectic gold-plated and silver trinkets in collaborations with Titan, Nykaa, Game of Thrones, Ekaya and Amrapali, she is now launching Masaba Jewels.
What has made her dip her fingers in vintage gold details, South Indian style? “Traditional South Indian gold is exquisite,” she says, adding, “We wanted to have a mix of regal ornamentation and contemporary patterns that meet the evolving needs of both women and men, globally. I have kept the centre point as traditional meets modern, with motifs of the Nandi (the cow), hatheli (the palm), and mithai (the toffee) meeting contemporary sensibilities in the collection. For me, it is about balancing Indian traditions while making a bold style statement.”
Of course, there are quirky nose rings and conversation pieces in rings, in lustrous brass, replete with 24-carat gold plating, homing in on the tacit need for relatively inexpensive jewellery meant for destination weddings, when brides, and guests want to travel light and stress-free.
It’s a redefined Indian fashion vocabulary that Masaba has crafted over the years, with an appealing mix of her own Indo-Caribbean sensibilities. Fun, fierce, fabulous. What’s next, you ask? “I have multiple projects on the horizon for the coming year,” she smiles. “As a brand, we are looking at taking a 360-degree approach and venturing into various avenues of fashion and beauty. My biggest learning so far has been to be yourself, no matter what. Embrace and celebrate your flaws. Shut all the background noise and follow your heart, with passion.” All we can say is, watch this space.