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Raghavendra Rathore on India's lasting love for bespoke styling

From the royal courts to the contemporary global stage, bespoke styling continues to prevail and its essence lies in the intimate collaboration between the patron and the tailor

While fast fashion democratizes fashion with ready-to-wear garments, bespoke tailoring offers a personal touch.
While fast fashion democratizes fashion with ready-to-wear garments, bespoke tailoring offers a personal touch. (Courtesy Raghavendra Rathore/Instagram)

The world of fashion has witnessed an ever-changing panorama of styles and trends, each era leaving its indelible mark on the sartorial landscape. Amid this kaleidoscope, if there’s one concept in particular that has stood the test of time, especially in India, it is bespoke styling.

Bespoke styling has a long history in India, representing opulence and elegance. From the era of the maharajas to the contemporary fashion landscape, it has been an enduring thread in the tapestry of Indian fashion, more so in men’s fashion.

As one looks to dive deeper into the landscape of Indian fashion, the transformation of men's wardrobe emerges as a compelling narrative. Originating from Rajasthan, for instance, the bandhgala epitomizes traditional Indian male attire, once a symbol of royalty and nobility. Over the centuries, it gracefully absorbed elements of western clothing while retaining its quintessential Indian persona. The period of British rule and the journey towards independence marked a significant chapter in this style's evolution. Influenced by western education and ideologies, the Indian elite began incorporating elements of Western fashion, reflecting a dramatic change in preferences.

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Post-independence, a renewed sense of national pride sparked a rekindled appreciation for indigenous crafts and textiles. Traditional attire like the bandhgala and the achkan remained popular but now embraced local textiles and weaving techniques. The quintessential western suit, too, underwent an Indian adaptation, giving birth to a unique fusion style that was global yet rooted in tradition.

The pursuit of perfection

Moving on to explore the present-day, globalized world, Indian men's fashion flourishes with a vibrant mix of the traditional and the contemporary. Amid the choices offered by fast fashion, tailored outfits hold a unique appeal. While fast fashion democratizes fashion with ready-to-wear garments, bespoke tailoring offers a personal touch. Each bespoke piece is meticulously crafted from high-quality fabrics, tailored to precise measurements, and becomes a reflection of the wearer's personality and style.

The innate desire for individuality finds its perfect expression in bespoke styling, where patrons can translate their distinct personalities into the fabric they wear.

This cannot be explored without mentioning the likes of actor Saif Ali Khan; the quintessential prince-actor Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur; Sheikh Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar; Sarah, Duchess of York; and Felipe VI, the king Spain. With their towering personalities, they exemplify the power of investing in personal tailoring through bespoke services. Whether it's a preference for broad peak lapel suits or a high-cut bandhgala jacket, these individuals understand the transformative power of style, ensuring their palpable presence.

As patrons venture into the world of bespoke styling, they partake in the creation of a timeless legacy. Each bespoke piece becomes a cherished memento, passed down through generations, symbolizing the artistry and traditions that transcend time. It is this enchanting allure of personalized luxury that opens up a world of opulence where one discovers that bespoke tailoring is much more than just a means to acquire a well-fitted outfit. It's an experience that celebrates individuality and craftsmanship.

The essence of bespoke tailoring lies in the intimate collaboration between the patron and the tailor. The journey begins with a consultation, where the tailor gleans insights into the patron's preferences, lifestyle, and aspirations. This intimate understanding shapes the design process, allowing the tailor to craft a garment that becomes an extension of the wearer's identity.

As one ventures into the massive world of bespoke styling, they embrace the creation of a timeless outfit, embodying the craftsmanship and cultural legacy that transcends the ages. It is this luxurious experience that forms a rich tapestry of Indian men's fashion where bespoke styling stands as an everlasting bond, interweaving heritage, artistry, and individual flair. From the regal courts of yesteryears to the contemporary global stage, the allure of bespoke styling continues to prevail, inviting individuals to explore a sense of royalty, individuality, and sustainability that converge in harmonious unison.

Understanding your body type

The foundation of bespoke tailoring lies in the understanding of one's body type. Each individual is unique, and the art of bespoke lies in crafting garments that complement and flatter individual proportions. From the broad-shouldered to the slim-waisted, a bespoke tailor pays meticulous attention to the nuances of each body type, creating garments that accentuate one's best features and minimize any perceived imperfections.

The perfect fit

The cornerstone of bespoke tailoring is achieving the perfect fit. The bespoke process entails multiple fittings and adjustments to ensure that the garment drapes flawlessly on the wearer's body. Tailored to precise measurements, a bespoke piece transcends the idea of mere clothing to become a second skin, instilling unparalleled confidence and comfort in the wearer.

Embracing timeless elegance

Bespoke fashion celebrates timeless elegance, eschewing fleeting trends in favoUr of enduring style. While ready-to-wear garments may capture the essence of current fashion, bespoke creations go beyond the seasons. A bespoke garment is designed to be a cherished heirloom, reflecting the wearer's personal taste and resonating with their sensibilities throughout the years.

Crafted from high-quality fabrics

The choice of fabric in bespoke styling is of paramount importance. Renowned for its commitment to excellence, bespoke tailoring relies on premium-quality fabrics sourced from the finest mills around the world. Each fabric is carefully selected to complement the design, ensuring the garment's durability and impeccable drape.

A canvas of colours and patterns

This style offers a myriad of possibilities when it comes to colours and patterns. From classic neutrals to vibrant hues, and from subtle pinstripes to bold checks, bespoke tailoring allows patrons to express their personality through their choice of fabrics. The skilled tailor guides patrons in selecting the perfect combination, enhancing their unique style, and creating a harmonious ensemble.

Attention to minute details

Bespoke tailoring revels in the art of precision, where every detail is thoughtfully considered. The collar shape, lapel width, pocket styles, button placement, and even the thread used for stitching are meticulously chosen to create a harmonious and cohesive design. These subtle nuances elevate the bespoke creation to a masterpiece of sartorial excellence.

Raghavendra Rathore is an Indian designer. 


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