The waif like models that walked the runway at the last Men's Fashion Week in Milan signalled the death of beefcake in the international modelling scene. But the trend has been bucked by the Indian shores where the ramps are still populated by quite some six packs.
The debate around emaciated models has always centred on women, but the same miniscule measurements now go for men in the fashion capitals of Europe and New York. But the models that walked down the ramp at the recently concluded Van Heusen Mens Week here were not the delicate teenagers populating the international catwalks, but muscled men.
And the brawn is here to stay, says Milind Soman, India's first male super model. "The international trend for androgynous male models has still not caught up here. I think it will cause an uproar if a skinny chicken walks the ramp here, the audience will not accept it," Soman told PTI.
Designer Jay Arora who caused a flashbulb frenzy when he sent models dressed in barely-there hot pants during Mens Week says that economics has a part to play in the trend.
A large chunk of consumers for designer menswear in India according to him is the 'new age man', who is not afraid to stray from the black suit routine. And this new age man is also a gym freak.
"The trend running through all the collections was a lean silhouette. And to carry off the fitted look, you need a gym toned body. All the models work hard for it and so do my costumers," said Arora.
Where the masculine ideal earlier was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment on the international catwalks is the wraith like urchin.
Designer Anjana Bhargava is thankful that the trend is not here yet and suggests that Bollywood, where former models like John Abraham and Arjun Rampal are ruling the roost, may have something to do with it.
"They may not say so openly but a Shah Rukh Khan or a Hrithik Roshan is indeed role model for many men, who also buy designer clothes. Bollywood trends quickly become popular and the trend in tinseltown is for ripped bodies not skinny men," said Bhargava.
The models themselves rubbish the trend, as a mere flash in the pan.
From Lalit Tehlan to Kabir Singh, the most popular models all sport gym toned abs and muscular physiques.
And they say that they would rather emulate British model David Gandy, who became a over-night star after appearing in the Dolce & Gabbana perfume campaign wearing only a pair of tight white briefs.
"The top earning male model today is David Gandy who is far from skinny. The trend for skinny models too I think too will fade out and the tall muscular frame will again become fashionable," said upcoming model Ravinder Kuhar.