With French designer Jean Paul Gaultier's turban-inspired Spring/Summer 2013 menswear collection, which was recently showcased in Paris, making headlines (given the ban on all religious headgear in France), HT City talks to local personalities about the turban's latest style statement on international ramps.
Punjab's very own costume designer and actor, Dolly Ahluwalia, says, "The turban has always been a sturdy fashion statement. Be it on women, internationally, or on Indian men, headgear lends certain dignity and character to the one wearing it. I feel a man is naked without his turban. Be it royalty or the labour class, the turban has always been an inevitable part of Indians' lives, which is now being reflected on international fashion. The only difference now is that people, internationally, are waking up to the fact that fashion is from head to toe; no more, no less."
Chandigarh-based fashion designer and Sikh stylist Sahiba J Singh, on the other hand, believes that creativity knows no bounds. "I don't think it's got anything to do with the ban on turbans in France. Gaultier has just given shape to his creative streak. Various international fashion brands such as Prada, Burberry and Chanel have been creating turbans for women in their collections. It's nice to see Gaultier finally making a breakthrough with men. So, kudos to creativity!"
New York designer (now based in Delhi) Kanika Saluja, says, "Headgear, in general is very empowering. India, in particular, has been a source of inspiration for many international designers. Hence, Gaultier's turbaned collection. Last year, Chanel's Mumbai show was inspired by India in general. It saw women wearing all sorts of turbans. Besides, headgear has been a very essential part of men's fashion. The traditional turban was bound to come around."
Actor Mukul Dev, who would be enacting a Sikh character in his next film, Burrraah, says, "It's no secret that France is opposed to its residents sporting religious headgear. In fact, in 2007, an elderly Sikh gentleman in France was forced to remove his turban for a photograph for an ID. Seeing French designer Gaultier hailing the turban is commendable. It's a matter of pride for us Punjabis."