New Delhi: If you thought dhotis and fashion don't gel, then think again. Designer Arjun Khanna just transformed the attire into a stylised dress statement, complete with pleats, pockets and teamed with smart waist coats.

The collection showcased at the ongoing Van Heusen India Mens Week (VHIMW) is sure to start a new trend for men.

The Mumbai-based designer opened the VHIMW here on Friday with his collection titled 'Action Men' in a bid to pay homage to real and fictional men of action.

And, as one would have expected from him, the show got off to a rocking start - first it was the haunting sound of gun-shots, sirens, tanks and bombs building up the tempo followed by late 1970’s hit disco number, Daddy Cool and the mood for the evening was set.

“It was a spoof of the action man. It was a take on `Sherlock Holmes and the real mafias. I tried to include the vintage props - Rolex watches, cameras, hats and leather gun holsters,” Khanna said.

The designer presented a line loaded with immaculate detailing on smart suits with leather patches on arms and knees, use of piping on pockets, metallic buttons, zips and hunter boots enhanced the vintage look of garments.

“The collection was simple but comprised of a lot of tailoring. Tailoring is in my blood, the outfits were complex in terms of stitching. It was a combination of different fabric and unconventional look. I always try to get a story on ramp, so it was this time,” said Khanna.

But, the show-stealers were the pleated dhotis with pockets, worn with waist coats, highlighting the raw attitude of the rugged masculine men, who walked the ramp in confidence in the traditional Indian dhoti with a contemporary twist.

There were also a few kurta-pyjamas, slim-fit trousers, and checkered trousers in the line with the hues were restricted to black, charcoal grey, beige with a pinch of red.

Friday evening's show comes five years after Khanna had showcased in the capital and for him, it was sort of a homecoming.

“It is nostalgic to be back after five years, it feels like coming back home. Not any specific reason for being away - I was just busy with a lot of things. I was setting up my home and store in Goa, also a flagship store in Mumbai. But I love Delhi, it is great to be here,” he said.

Tarun Tahiliani revisits golden era

Meanwhile, Tarun Tahiliani showcased his collection tiltled 'new democrazy' which was inspired by the rich Indian heritage on the first day Van Heusen India Mens Week Autumn/Winter 2011.

Tahiliani's collection revisited the earliest form of dressing by exploring structured draping in jackets, waist coats, shrugs that are teamed up with dhoti pants.

With Samandar Manganiar and his troupe from Rajasthan playing live Qawwali before the audience and the display of footages from freedom struggle, Tahiliani's collection seemed traditional and royal.

"Draping is our initial stage of fashion, this is how men used to dress during that time. My idea was not to present the royal India but the various intricacies of draping and layering involved in their dressings,” Tarun said.

"Without any bling it appeared luxurious and royal. I have only done surface texturisation," he said.

The fabrics used were tussar, stretch wool, cotton, linen and voils.