Spoilt for Choice

August 12, 2008

Paul Smith and Ermenegildo Zegna for Rakhi

As toddlers, our mum dressed us alike. For every frock, my bro had a similar shirt. The single-digit years thus saw us in a procession of gender-neutral checks, stripes and solids.

Paul Smith and Zegna

We hated it, my bro and I. In my teenage, I went pastel and floral with a vengeance. My bro, he discovered anti-fits and grunge. Now as 20-somethings, we make our distinct style statements. And share a laugh over the twin-horror years.

But clothes-shopping for each other, that’s something we don’t do — what if our pinstripes end up the same? However, two top European menswear brands, new in town, are forcing me to reconsider ahead of Rakhi on Saturday.

First up, Paul Smith, the British label. The Paul Smith Collection is sporty, with cropped jackets and short-sleeve shirts. PS, inspired by rock stars who abandon the high life for the country, has jerseys, prints, knitwear. And Paul Smith Jeans is all about adventure: washed and organic materials, slim denims and poplin trekking jackets.

I swooned, though, over Paul Smith London. The classic two- and three-button suits in sophisticated fabrics and yarn mixes in subtle designs and strong colours would dress up my bro perfectly. And then I spotted PSST!, a rock music-inspired line in dyed velvet, military satin and rubber-coated skinny denims with heavily studded, zip-embellished low-slung waistbands.

This? That? Or spoil him and get both?

Or neither? I walked into Ermenegildo Zegna. The Italian brand’s new autumn-winter range includes impeccably cut suits in flannels, silks and dark tones, a resort line (jackets, bags and scarves too) in natural fibres, an informal line in complementary jackets and trousers and superb use of purple and green. I loved their laser-cut, no-stitch knitwear.

Maybe I’ll just play eeny-meeny-miny-moe. Just like my bro and I used to.

Paul Smith and Ermenegildo Zegna are both at UB City, 24, Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore 1. Prices. Paul Smith: Rs 3500 upwards. Zegna: Rs 9000 upwards.

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