Dapper draper

Dapper draper

Modern menswear designer Arjan Dugal’s new collection is understated yet steeped into grandeur of tradition

Designer Arjan Dugal is a man of routine. His day begins with a run at the crack of dawn, followed by prayers and a quick breakfast. By 9, he’s at his desk. After a full day at work, he looks forward to a quiet meal with his wife. The day comes to a close with watching a favourite film or show. Ironically, it is his discipline that lets him be on top of ever-evolving industry trends. “This routine has been my companion for years now, and has nourished both my soul and vision,” says Dugal, the founder of his Delhi-based eponymous label.

His new range of menswear, which encapsulates the resurgence of traditional weaves and textiles, is proof. “There are eclectic chintz print kurtas and shirts in silk with technically constructed reversible Nehru jackets, in addition to a selection of ajrakh on mashru silk,” Dugal says, adding, “At our high-end best, we’ve got self-on-self embroidery done by hand. There is a lot of work on organza and structurally refined garments, in addition to Indo-western and Indian silhouettes.”

Another trend that he has incorporated is one of comfort. The cuts are relaxed, and fits are comfortable. The straight pants with straighter lines, for instance, make for a dapper wear, while allowing easy mobility. In certain areas, angled 45° cuts have been used. An underlay and an overlay of fabric gives each garment a unique optique. Although, the designer’s favourite pick from the new range is a pure organza, front-open Cuban shirt with a placement dori embroidery.

Dugal started his brand in October 2014, partly out of necessity. He saw a gap in the market for people his age, who wanted to buy smarter, edgier and younger-looking luxury Indian clothes, but at affordable prices. “Couple that with a fantastic platform given to me by my late mother, Simar Dugal, the founder of her eponymous fashion label. It seemed like the perfect time and place for me to delve into my not-so-secret passion for clothing,” he says, adding, “She had an innate appreciation for Indian art and culture. Her wardrobe boasted a fine range of shawls and textiles as a testament to this.”

While carrying the baton forward in his mother’s memory, Dugal has developed a niche for his brand, which is starkly different from his mother’s. While she was the queen of extravagance, he’s the prince of minimalism.

“I wanted my brand to exude luxury, but not be loud. I have, and will, always cater primarily to my everyday clients before celebrity needs. That is also why you don’t see my brand splashed everywhere on social media,” he says.

If there is one thing he would like to share with aspiring designers, it’s the importance of paying attention to detail. Dugal invests personally in matters pertaining to quality, consistency and customer care. Nothing should be overlooked and nothing should be taken for granted. It’s the meticulous attention to each aspect of business that builds credibility, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters to him.

Available at: 1G, Lane 3, Block D, Bharat Nagar, New Friends Colony, Delhi

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The New Indian Express