Designer Pawan Sachdeva’s new collection breaks the colour tabooIMG_0116

Words: Ambica Gulati

Pawan Sachdeva’s studio buzzed with excitement as MTV Roadies VJ turned actor Ranvijay Singh and debutant Tena Desae tried on the new range of winter jackets. Catering to the sauve metro man, this range comprises quilted silk jackets in bright colours such as fuchsia and orange, besides the conventional blue and black. Desae found that interesting as she feels today’s men like colour, whereas Singh has promised to come back for wedding attire. Chocolate-faced actor Zayed Khan was too sick to visit the studio, but Sachdeva met him at the hotel.

Actor Zayed Khan and designer Pawan Sachdeva
Actor Zayed Khan and designer Pawan Sachdeva

Though, Sachdeva primarily designs for men, he has recently come out with a women’s label for women with long time friend Shalini Chauhan who has worked with Ogaan. Among the handful who style for men in India, Sachdeva’s USP is silhouettes. Simple classical cuts, even for the traditional Indian outfits, defines Pawan’s way of dressing the Indian male. Excerpts from my conversation with the designer:

How did the journey into designing begin?
I was a state-level volleyball player. And even in school I loved clothes, so I began designing for the state team, school team. I used to play at the Indira Gandhi National Stadium and designed for the stadium team too. From there, I designed for the Kerala and Bihar state teams. And then I got admission in NIFT, Delhi. After the course, I began freelancing and would get my designs made in other units. I started a women’s boutique and I realized that there was no market for men’s wear. It was in 1997 that I got this studio and began the men’s label.

What is the most important thing about men’s clothing?
They have to be well fitted and the good cuts. Now men are happy with colours, so as you can see I have orange, shades of red, greens. We use these more frequently in sherwanis and angarkhas but men like these in jackets too. The quilted silk range is for January-February.

Actor Ranvijay Singh with Pawan Sachdeva
Actor Ranvijay Singh with Pawan Sachdeva

What is your USP?
I can make anyone look taller and slimmer!

Are you planning to be a part of any fashion show?
I am planning to participate in the London Fashion Week. I will also have private shows.

Are you exporting and to which countries? What is the difference in clothing in each country?
We are present in stores in Geneva, Switzerland, Dubai and US. The collection is completely different for each country. It depends on body structure, skin colour and country preferences. Americans are fair and fat, and they prefer fun, funky clothes. In Dubai, it’s a mixed crowd and they like bling and embroidery. Europe is straight and simple cuts and very good quality. They like pastel shades and woolens.

Which age groups do you design for?
I have dressed men from the age of 13 to 70 for all occasions. I make all kinds of clothing, right from corporate wear to clothes for pubbing and clubbing. But India has a big wedding market, so that is the busiest time with clothes for all functions such as cocktails, mehndi, sangeet.

Do people abroad look for the Indian touch in their clothes?

Actor Tena Desae
Actor Tena Desae

In Europe, they want only their western wear such as light wools in summer, linen fabrics, in winter its long and trench coats. They like plain cuts. Dubai, they like the Indian touch; America does like bling.

What is the preference for women’s wear?
In Dubai, the women like lehangas and anarkalis. In Europe, women prefer their dresses.

Where are your manufacturing facilities?
I have two facilities in Naraina for the last 16 years with around 90 workers.

Where in the world do we find trendsetters and fashion forecasters?
Milan, Italy, for men and Paris, France, for women.

What inspires you?
Everything—monuments, nature, heritage and colours.

Why is that we never hear about fashion from Australia and Africa?
I have never explored these markets but from my travels I see that people in Australia wear very basic and simple clothes. The market in South Africa has become fashion conscious but I have yet to explore that.

Do you make accessories such as ties, belts, scarves?

Are you planning to design wallets or shoes?
Shoes. I am planning to launch this collection by July 2015.

Shalini with Shalini Chauhan (right)
Shalini with Shalini Chauhan (right)

What can we expect from you for Spring/Summer 2015?
Lots of cotton, linens, prints, muslin, voiles.

Do men like wearing floral shirts?
They do. The older men are more fashion conscious than the younger ones and like florals and colour.

Address: Pawan Sachdeva Design Studio, D-4, C-Block, Community Centre, Nariana Vihar, New Delhi, India
Contact Number: 91-11-25775201