Raghavendra Rathore launches a new line of breeches
At this time of year, when parts of India stand at the cusp of autumn and winter, you can hear the sound of horses thundering past as polo season nudges its way into the social calendar. Along with the sturdy gloves, riding hats that are a union of baseball cap and cloche, the ubiquitous polo shirt, quilted jackets, and knee-length riding shoes, is the one piece of clothing that best shows off how fit riders are — a pair of taut, white breeches.
Traditionally made in pale shades, the stretch trousers that strain at the thigh and are padded at the bottom, became a popular item of clothing on and off the equestrian field in 17th-Century Britain and the Continent. Centuries later, Princess Anne made it a fashion statement. In India, breeches borrowed the design from its Indian twin — the jodhpurs, trousers that are flared at the hip and fitted at the shin, named after the city of Jodhpur. The colours have deepened over the years and designer Raghavendra Rathore says his “journey has been to make breeches acceptable to all, with tweaks for every season”.
The ace couturier, who popularised the bandhgala, and in 1994 put model Mehr Bhasin on the runway in Jodhpur, “wearing the first breeches that I think anybody saw in India with a bandhgala jacket and riding shoes”, said in an earlier interview to The Puucho that it has taken a while for breeches to make it to people’s closets. Drawing from an impressive 800-year legacy, his new line of breeches is an extension of the Jodhpur Extraordinaire collection that was launched earlier this year.
“The introduction of these revamped breeches is a reflection of our belief in the enduring nature of tradition and our ability to thrive in an ever-evolving fashion landscape,” he says, adding “We’ve placed emphasis on the evolution of breeches, reshaping it from traditional attire into an essential element of a contemporary wardrobe.”
The collection, including shirts, has more daring shades with surface ornamentation in the men’s line — think tiger stripes and silver stacks like lenticular clouds. Through meticulous craftsmanship, the Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur breeches has been reengineered to offer the comfort of regular pants while preserving its iconic silhouette.
The breeches transition from formal to semi-formal, and even classic-chic, is thanks to its slim-cut and dip-dyed printed texture that pays homage to the grunge rockstar aesthetic. Additionally, “there are custom graphic print cargo-style breeches offered in tonal-noir shades”. Dark jewel hues, and neutral tones, are also juxtaposed against a backdrop of pristine white. These designs also incorporate pleating details and the necessary volume for comfort, and are frequently combined with iconic styles such as the Jodhpuribandhgala.
“The choice of fabrics is a mix of custom-printed textures, suede finish outdoor lifestyle-inspired material, faux leather that is apt for evening club style and classic twill cotton material suitable for formal occasion wear,” says Rathore.
The poster boy for this collection is actor and guitar wizard Moses Koul who wears the creations with aplomb. “He carries an aura of cool so effortlessly, one would think he invented it,” says Rathore. “His style and personality are a blend of tradition and trendiness. It’s like he sprinkled a bit of magic on these breeches, turning them into a must-have for all ages.”