Bengaluru- based fashion designer Sounak Sen Barat’s label – House of Three – forays into menswear with the Brahman collection.
For those who know Sounak Sen Barat, even as a designer and not so much personally, will understand that his clothes are not a result of trends but of his thoughts and feeling. “My designs are a way of me trying to express myself. It’s like giving away a part of me to wear,” says Barat, rather profoundly.
And now, his label – House of Three – is making its entry into the menswear segment, after launching 12 new designs at the Colombo Fashion Week last month. This new collection, titled Brahman, is inspired by the balance created by the ‘self’ and the ‘I’. “Brahman celebrates the spirit within us. These clothes are thought provoking, and aims to satisfy your sense of aesthetics, and your soul. I don’t believe that for one to be spiritual, one has go to give up worldly ties,” says the designer.
The two most striking aspects in this collection are the use of the moth as a motif, and the colour palette. “The moth has been used to signify balance in the world, and the colour palette, where maroon is the dominating shade, is inspired by the robes of Buddhist monks,” he further explains.
Barat continues to add to the collection as he prepares to showcase the entire collection of Brahman at the Karnataka Fashion Week in April. From shirts, trousers, and suits, to smoking jackets, trench coats, casual half lined jackets and shorts, and bandhgalas – the collection looks after the requirements of “men with a certain finesse for dressing” as the designer likes to put it. Even his choice of fabrics has been smart. “We don’t really have much of a winter in this country. So I wanted to put together a collection that focuses a lot more on comfort. “I have used a blend of cotton lycra in satin weave. While the cotton lycra gives you comfort, satin gives a lovely lustre to the outfits. Juxtapose that with the warm, and rich tones of maroon, and the motifs. I have also used silk velvet, merino wool, and Therawool, which are ideal bespoke tailoring fabrics, to finish the line,” he adds. Apart from the moth as a motif, the other striking feature is the print of reptile skin as a base on some of the garments. “We’ve also experimented with over-dyeing and washing the fabrics for shirts and trousers,” Barat adds.
With Brahman, the designer wants to explore different markets as well, including online. “I want to take this collection to different buyers, in India, and even abroad if possible. And with things going online, the ready to wear market is now a more streamlined business. After all, it’s a number game, and I like the discipline of that. It makes fashion more accessible, which is what I have always hoped to achieve,” he says.
Rs 4,000 onwards for shirts; `7,000 onwards for
trousers; Rs 20,000 for evening jackets. At Jeevan Bhima Nagar. Details: 9740183009
— Priyadarshini Nandy
The game Changers
Moving away from models, Barat chose to go with two men who he believes are quietly changing the scene in menswear in India, for the creative shoot of the collection. One is Karunesh Vohra, his first boss, and creative director of Louis Philippe, and the other is Jagdeep Shokeen, the creative director of Creyate. “I owe Karunesh. I had talent but it took him to teach me to respect systems, understand markets, and evolve to become a business man,” Barat says, adding, “And as for Jagdeep, the quality of his design, and implementation, is jaw dropping for premium mass and bridge luxury standards. This is my ode to them.”