Ashish N Soni is one of the most creative innovators of contemporary Indian fashion. His imagination and talent to create designs for men and women rapidly gave his label a reputation of high calibre and unique style; Salman Khan and Anil Kapoor are just one of many celebrities who have sported his designs on the catwalk. With his label being established for over a decade, he continues to incorporate fresh fashion ideas into his pieces, as demonstrated in his latest menswear collection: The Regallia.
Earlier this month Ashish showcased a preview of The Regallia menswear collection in London. The collection was formed of luxurious Nehru jackets, sherwanis and bandgalas in a range of high quality fabrics. We had the pleasure to meet and interview the talented and humble mastermind behind the collection.
For Ashish in the conceptual stages of his collection, one of his inspirations is “driven by trend whereas now men are far more aware of trends than several years ago”. One of our favourites (although everything was our favourite!) was his velvet Nehru jackets, which he “did some testing with velvet last year and have for a while, however not in so much depth as shown in this season’s collection”. The velvet jackets were available in a vast array of colours; exploration of colour in menswear is unconventional, however Ashish wishes to break this convention where he thought, “let’s try a lot colour and see how men will react to it”. The colour palette selected for the jackets, were “driven by trends… what colours would look good on an Indian man and what colours could people wear around the world. In this collection black is almost nowhere…. in an article it was mentioned in England blue is the black from Savile Row down to John Lewis.” Ashish invests a lot of time into research to pick up market trends, which is communicated in his collection.
The other phenomenally unique pieces in his collection included 3 lace Nehru jackets (one in blue, red and black) and leather Nehru jacket also in a sleeveless form. The one thing we loved about his attire was each piece had a different lining inside; one velvet waistcoat had a collage of the profile pictures of his Facebook friends printed on the fabric inside the waistcoat. This was such a quirky and fun concept, all the other pieces had a variety of funky prints inside and different coloured stitching too.
The collection also had a range of traditional kurtas, smart shirt kurtas and sherwani short jackets; all were understated and trendy with fine stone and detailed metallic thread work. Ashish recommends his outfits work best with ” neutral coloured trousers, so the off-white, beige and charcoal…which would work with all the colours quite easily, as would ivory.”
We asked Ashish what message he wanted everyone to take away from his collection: “The quality which we take pride in, as we try and push the bar every season. Every season there is some quality change that we try to incorporate into the product… such as the quality of the interlining or where we source the shoulder pads from. One (referring to himself) is always trying to outdo one else from what one previously did. The bigger thing… is that feel good factor which is imperative”. Following on from Ashish’s point of quality, his designs use fabrics from Marzoni and Italian fabric from Loro Piana, one of the world’s leading, ultra-fine cashmere and wool manufacturers; the fabrics felt ultra-soft. Ashish finally wanted everyone to take away knowing the depth of tailoring that had gone into each outfit from the thread and detail used all the way down to the fit.
Overall the collection was incredible, especially due to the quirky craftsmanship and bespoke quality. One of the greatest aspects of The Regaillia collection was there was something for everyone for every occasion, even so while we were present at the showcase, a lady accompanying her husband loved the look and fit of the velvet jackets; she decided to try one on for herself! To be honest we wanted to do the same.
Ashish continues to break conventions and change perceptions about Indian menswear, whilst continuing to produce high quality and tailored clothing. He has plans to open a store in Dubai and showcase his latest collection in India. We wish him all the best for his upcoming ventures and we have no shadow of a doubt that his latest collection will be showered with praise.
Written by Victoria Das
Victoria Das is a London based blogger. She has a passion for design, with a speciality in contemporary Indian fashion. Victoria runs the blog London Ki Ladki and is the latest member of the Think Shaadi blogging family. Here’s where you can find her around the web – Facebook: London Ki Ladki – Instagram: London Ki Ladki – Twitter: London Ki Ladki