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Indian Summer feat. Ishandev Hiremath

June 12th, 2013

We met Ishandev Hiremath at the Articles of Style x Ted Baker event last month in NYC. We shared drinks, cracked jokes, and had a long discussion about the blending of cultural dress with western menswear.

On the clock, Ishan is a lawyer in New York City. Off the clock, he’s a style enthusiast best known for his clever mixing of classic American menswear with the sartorial traditions of India.

“From an early age, I attended boarding school in India which exposed me to classic British prep style, along with traditional Indian attire.  I love the practicality of Indian cloth in warmer weather, such as kadhi (homespun) cotton, silk, and linen.

I like the concept of dressing with austerity and I try not to wear too many items at once.  My perfect summer outfit is a blend of breathable Indian fabrics and sharp western clothing. It’s all about balance, and creating a look that is uniquely my own.”

1. Eastern Prep

01

“Long Kurtas are the most traditional item of clothing for Indian men and the trademark of the quintessential Indian artist.

Apart from the obvious advantages of wearing white linen in the summer, the Kurta is a blank canvas – you can pair it with pretty much anything.  I prefer Kurtas that reach just above the knee, with a trim fit across the shoulders and chest, and sleeves just shy of the wrist.”

03

“To complete this look, I added one of my favorite cotton Nehru Jackets in light blue… The Nehru Jacket is so versatile… it works great with a spread collar shirt and jeans, or slim trousers.

Traditionally a Kurta is worn with Churidars, or ruched pants, but I often take it in a ‘classic southern prep’ direction: slim seersucker pants, brown/white spectators and a straw hat.

I’m also wearing vintage hand-me-down Ray-Ban’s that once belonged to my father… I faithfully get them cleaned and tightened every once a while.”

02
  • White Venetian Straw Hat by  Zara ·
  • Brown Eyewear by Ray-Ban ·
  • White Cotton Linen Long Kurta by Fabindia ·
  • Blue Cotton Nehru Jacket (hemmed to waist length) by Fabindian ·
  • Blue Micro-Stripe Trousers (hemmed with no break) by Gant ·
  • Brown Bel-Air Spectators by Allen Edmonds

2. Blue Blazer + Khakis

05

“This is my ideal look for a summer cocktail party. It strikes the right balance between comfort and elegance.

The jacket is from a custom BandhGala suit, with five buttons and a Nehru collar. A style made famous by Jawaharlal Nehru, The Beatles, and almost every Bond villain, this jacket is the Indian equivalent to the tuxedo.”

09

“Tailoring is of utmost importance with a custom suit,  and the BandhGala is no exception. The silhouette should emphasize the shoulders, with a narrow waist, slim sleeves and high armholes.”

10

“As the jacket + shorts combination is a bold statement there is no need to experiment with color.  In the same spirit, my shoes are classic chocolate penny loafers.

As a final homage to Jawaharlal Nehru, I substituted a pocket square with a bright red rose.”

13
  • Bespoke Navy BandhGala Jacket by Avinash Punjabi ·
  • White T-Shirt by Scoop ·
  • Khaki Bowery Shorts by J.Crew ·
  • Brown Walden Penny Loafers by Allen Edmonds

3. Dhoti Flow

15

“Wearing a Dhoti anywhere is a statement in itself. Almost every region in India has its own version of this seven-yard cloth. It was famously worn by Mahatma Gandhi and is the mascot of cultural assertion.

I got mine from a roadside stall in Mumbai and it’s made up of Mangalgiri Cotton from South India with beautiful silk embroidered edges.”

21

“The Shirt is a long sleeved band-collar, that when crisply ironed perfectly complements the loose elegance of the Dhoti… The quilted Nehru Jacket is incredibly light. It has no buttons to fasten it, but the practicality is in the pockets (holds my phone, earphones and money clip).

The star of the look is always going to be the Dhoti, so I paired it with neutral colors and minimized any flashy accessories… (I’m also wearing the Dhoti backwards to highlight the edges).

I went with my favorite Vans sneakers to add a laidback and sporty element to the cultural-specific look.”

18
  • Eyewear by Paul Smith ·
  • White Bespoke Band Collar Shirt by Avinash Punjabi ·
  • Beige Quilted Nehru Jacket by FabIndian ·
  • White Linen Dhoti by roadside vendor in Colaba Market, Mumbai ·
  • White Leather Sneakers by Vans

Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Ishan for participating!

Yours in style,

Articles of Style

 

Photography by Alex Crawford