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If we create a style chart of 2019’s most popular menswear trends, experimental fashion and gender-neutral silhouettes would be pinned right at its centre. As the lines for menswear and womenswear slowly get blurred, there’s one Indian designer exploring this facet for bridalwear. Payal Singhal recently made a switch to designing groomswear – her PSMen line debuted at Lakme Fashion Week in April this year, featuring gender-neutral prints and edgy-chic designs.

Keith Sequeira and Rochelle Rao wearing the designer’s gender-fluid pieces

Singhal has always embraced prints for womenswear, but with PSMen Singhal has made indulging in prints for men easy. Her new festive edit is designed for conservative as well as experimental gents, with designs that include subtly embroidered bandis and kurtas as well as over-the-top florals to make a bold style statement. At a special preview at Curato, we had the chance to speak with Singhal about her new festive collection and menswear.

Lakme Fashion Week Winter / Festive 2019
What are the elements you’ve introduced in this collection

The new menswear collection for the festive and bridal season is a potpourri of funky pieces and PS classics. Our signature print-on-print has truly blossomed in this collection. We’ve also introduced velvet this season in kurtas with amazing side detailing. I’ve also stayed true to my classic styles of printed kurta-pajamas and bandis, especially for men who prefer a subtle style silhouette and a more conventional look.

After reigning as a bridal designer, what made you switch to menswear?

There were two big inspirations: First, the PS women have been consistently urging me to design matching outfits for their husbands. The second was Tanisha Rahimtoola Agarwal, founder of Curato, who as we all know launched a men’s only designer store this September. She refused to open the store without a my menswear line and gave me a deadline for this. Tanisha’s push has also played a major role for me getting into menswear.

Shibani Dandekar and Farhan Akhtar at LFW ’19
What’s your take on experimental fashion in 2019 and how did it play a role in this collection?

Fashion in 2019 is extremely experimental with almost no distinguishing mark between menswear and womenswear. We’re reaching a very gender-neutral stage on the style spectrum today and I incorporated this principle first in womenswear and then in this menswear line. Maria Goretti recently wore a piece that had the very same prints that Farhan Akhtar’s piece had back at Lakme Fashion Week. These bohemian prints are cool, eclectic, and can work for multiple dressing occasions. Apart from this, we explore the entire spectrum of prints from subtle to extremely bold, which was designed to suit every man’s preference.

All images: Courtesy brand and IMG Reliance

Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.