I can really recall a moment when I saw my phone beeping with the number of my friend Sid Juvekar showing up on it. I was quick enough to pick it up, thinking that it would be just for the casual chat. But what Sid told me from the other side was a sort of laying a big challenge in front me. He told me about the upcoming Rubaru Mr India 2018 contest and wanted me to be the official designer for the event.
With the experience of several fashion shows and designing of clothes for celebrity, this proposal came as a happiness and a challenge. I was happy because I would be associated with such a brand which is promoting talent nationally. And challenge because it is not what I have been doing all my life as a fashion designer. To design clothes for the unknown contestants is a task, and I can say a big task.
After a pause of few seconds, I agreed to be on board Rubaru Mr India 2018. I was sure that this would add a new chapter to my career where I have already set several milestones.
Designing for the pageant that too to the scale of Mr India is a different ball game all together. I had to rediscover myself as a designer. May be press reset button on my thinking on several aspects and sit again and thing afresh. I can’t carry my hangover of the past Fashion Shows.
I was conscious that my clothes would decide a career for someone. It would decide the future of the contestants. As I sat in my office, several ideas revolved around my mind. I had to make them look good, enahance their personality and also while doing it, I should ensure that they can present ‘themselves’ before the Judges.
And to make things more challenging, initially, I had no idea of who are the contestants. It was more like ‘groping in darkness’, but I let the idea settle in me for some time.
I sat with pencil and paper to articulate what I was thinking. There were few links which I began with. It was about Goa, Casinos, Beaches, Pageant and group of men aspiring to be Mr India. While designing any collection you have to set a mood to it, and here I got it right and quick.
But no work is perfect without little hurdles while doing it, and there came another challenge. I had to get the colours right. I worked several colour combinations to do with beach, Goa, casinos…. After much of mixing and matching I got the things right.
When Ethnic collection was being designed, I wanted to give them a look in completely a family attire. It was a royal look that I have decided to give the contestants.
For the event, I am working on dark colours though I know that it is a summer time. But I have taken it as yet another challenge. I have to give best to the contestants who will look up to me as an integral part of their success.
I had to wade through hundreds of fabric and finally I chose shooting fabric with twill fabric and some dark colours to work on my concept.
Measurement is one aspect which is most crucial to design any garment. I didn’t had measurements of the contestants for some time and till then I improvised on my concept more, fine tuned it.
With the time, I got measurements of the contestants and then began the journey to make the best dresses for aspiring Mr Indias.
There are several aspects which are purposely kept in mind while designing the clothes and one of the most important is that they should be comfortable wearing it. It would also show their body shape because the contest is all about the body.
As I write this blog, I am busy giving final touches to the dresses before they make their way to Goa. I am eager to see my designs adding up to the glamour of the show.
All the best Pankaj Kharbanda and his team!