Saif Ali Khan for GQ India: Lessons in Style from Vijendra Bhardwaj, GQ India’s Fashion Director

When it comes to men’s fashion, we at continue to cherish, respect and uphold the style that some of our Bollywood superstars showcase. Saif Ali Khan being a perfect example of this. His effortless, classic style is reflective of his royal pedigree. It is safe to say that Saif Ali Khan is one of our country’s menswear style icons. It comes as no surprise, then, that the men’s fashion bible, GQ India, chose to dress him up in a Gatsby-esque attire and splash him on the cover of their Best Dressed Issue. We caught up with Vijendra Bhardwaj, Fashion Director GQ India, at the GQ Best Dressed party recently and he was prompt to give us some insights into Saif Ali Khan’s vintage-chic allure. Read on…

Tell us about this look and what prompted/inspired you to put it together. 

Well, this photograph had to encapsulate the essence of a GQ man, notably focussing on style. The idea was to keep it classic, but distinctive. An ivory suit harks back to a Jay Gatsby vibe — but Tom Ford’s sharp cut and clean lines lend a modern edge to the boxy double-breasted versions of yore. Also, a gingham shirt and two-tone shoes (correspondent shoes) make the over-all look distinctive.

In a few lines, could you deconstruct/decode this look and tell us about the pieces featured here and the brands they come from. 

In two words, I’d say Timeless and Today. The look comprises of an Ivory Double-breasted suit, a gingham shirt, dotted tie and pocket square — all by Tom Ford, there’s a gold dial Omega watch (perhaps you can’t see it here) and correspondent shoes by Church’s.

What’s most interesting is the play of little details that make a large difference. Note the gold collar pins and cufflinks. And the shoes, of course.

Also, the tie and pocket square combination — at GQ, we always advocate a studied mismatch — the pocket square picks up the dots from the tie, but in a reverse coloration and bigger scaling. 

In your opinion, what is the statement piece from this entire look?

There’s isn’t one piece, really. That might have been be a ‘say hello to that piece’ situation. All the pieces come together to craft a character and a look. 

 You have kept the suit clean and simple and experimented with colours, patterns and textures with the shirt, tie and pocket square. This is not always easy to pull off. Could you give our readers a few tips on how to mix and match elements without looking mismatched?

I always assert that an easy way to mix patterns and textures is to follow the ‘two out of three’ rule.

If the shirt and accents go patterned, keep the suit plain.

If the suit’s patterned (checked or striped or printed) — keep the rest of the two plain.

Also, when mixing up patterns, staying in a monochromatic color scheme (same or almost same colors throughout) or sticking to two main tones is fail-proof. 

Too many colors (or patterns) in a single look can get hectic, besides having the potential to give migraine to onlookers.

Saif’s shoes are stunning. Who are they by? I notice that they’ve been worn without socks. This is another eternal debate. What do you have to say about the ‘socks no socks’ debate? 

The shoes are by Church’s — the iconic British shoe brand noted for their gentleman’s shoes, and a favorite of stars (Pierce Brosnan’s Bond always wore them).

 Finally, the whole feel of this photograph seems to indicate towards it being an evening look. Does the thumb rule of light suits for the daytime still hold true today? What are your views?

Well, what’s interesting is that this look would of course be suitable for evening soirees, but would make the cut for a brunch / day wedding as well. 

More than the coloration, I’d say the fabric defines the time a bit more — a cotton or linen suit is definitely more befitting for day wear, while jacquards and silks are night fare. 


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