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I would like to dress Ryan Gosling: Kunal Rawal

Designer Kunal Rawal on being childhood friends with Sonam Kapoor, dressing Ranbir Kapoor and the challenges of being a menswear designer

brunch Updated: Feb 25, 2017 23:35 IST
kunal rawal,dstress,menswear
Kunal Rawal says that contrary to the fashionista she is today, Sonam Kapoor was quite tomboyish as a child

Sun Sign: Libra

Date of birth: September 25

Place of birth: Mumbai

Home Town: Mumbai

School /college: Arya Vidya Mandir, Mumbai/ London College of Fashion

First break: Designing a collection for a London-based brand, which went into stores for retail

Low point of your life: The day I smoked my first cigarette

High point of your life: My sister’s wedding last year. I was really happy

When did you first realise that design was your calling?

When I couldn’t find things that I loved to wear. And I had a take on the designs I saw.

You’re childhood friends with Sonam Kapoor. Has she always been a diva?

She was more tomboyish than the fashionista or diva she is now. But we’ve all been into clothes since our childhood.

Who, according to you, is the best dressed person in the industry?

I would like to think I dress well. Mr Bachchan too. He’s has always been current and relevant, even with his clothes.

If you were on Tinder, your bio would read…

It would read: The weather is so fine today.

You’ve designed Ranbir Kapoor’s clothes for Jagga Jasoos. What’s the biggest difference in designing for film and for the ramp?

When you’re doing a film, your focus is on the character. With fashion, it’s all about what I would wear.

A person you’d like to dress...

I’d like to dress Ryan Gosling, especially after his recent Golden Globes speech.

You were the youngest designer ever to debut at a fashion week. What is your fondest memory from those days?

My first show. I was so scared during the curtain call, I did multiple things – a bow, namaste and a wave – all within three seconds.

Three tips that men must keep in mind when styling themselves.

1. Fits are very important. Don’t ever go too snug.

2. Comfort. You don’t want to look like a box with a bow. Wear things that suit your personality.

3. Wear what you enjoy. If you’re not having fun with your clothes, it’s going to show.

Ghar ka khanna or eating out?

Both, I’m a complete foodie. I spend a lot of time with my cook explaining and experimenting. It’s always a win-win despite the time that goes into it.

How do you keep fit?

I’m an extremist. I have my crazy binge months, and then I have workout months. I’m currently into badminton.

An indulgence you can’t resist?

Ice creams and Asian food.

You seem to love your beard and even visit a salon every 10 days.

Yes. If you don’t, you want to shave and if you do shave, you repent it two days later. So might as well keep it groomed. Also, a shabby beard makes you look like you haven’t showered. My hairstylist and dear friend, Aalim, is very patient with my shifting hairstyles and beards.

Your clothes have edgy sensibilities, like zippers at the back. What are your inspirations?

I always think of myself when I’m working on any collection; whether it’s Indian, Western or something in between. And my style also has a sense of casualness to it. I don’t want myself or the men I dress to look packaged, they should look comfortable.

The one thing people don’t know about you.

I have a slight OCD about germs. I wash my hands and feet very regularly. It’s not fun for the people around me, but it is what it is.

Most challenging aspect of being a menswear designer.

The parameters to play with are narrower when compared to womenswear. But that also makes it fun. This is a great time for menswear in India. When I started my label DStress 10 years ago, people didn’t get contemporary fashion, where a T-shirt could be more expensive than a formal shirt. All that’s changed today.

The best advice you got from someone.

It was for my label. My dad once said “do what you want to do and what you like, and money will follow”.

An ideal date would be…

A good dinner with a drink, and then go to a slightly more intimate party.

How do you unwind?

I love TV shows. I’ve just finished The Night Of and started Westworld. Modern Family is my go-to for repeat watching.

A habit you’d like to get rid of.

I’ve been wanting to get off social media because it’s taken over our lives. Without wanting to, you end up having so much information that sticks in your head. And everyone has the same information in their head, which is a disturbing thought.

The last line of your biography would read…

But he went for it.


My favourites

Song of the moment: Bonnie and Clyde by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot

Designer: Currently, Craig Green

App: Candy Crush

City: Mumbai/ London

Follow @TheCommanist on Twitter

From HT Brunch, February 26, 2017

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First Published: Feb 25, 2017 23:35 IST