Tag Archives: theasianfashionjournal

‘India Fantastique’: Sotheby’s London

3rd September 2012

This morning I attended the press call for Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla’s launch of ‘India Fantastique’- a stunning coffee table book that celebrates their illustrious 25 years in the industry.

“Abu and I thought long and hard about how we wanted to celebrate our milestone, and also about how we would use this celebration to set the vision for our creativity and ourselves in the next twenty five years. It soon becomes clear that a book, or rather two as it turned out to be, was the ideal vehicle.” Sandeep Khosla

The book is a visual treat full of their delicious couture pieces and stunning interiors all beautifully shot by the amazing Ram Shergrill. The uber talented duo are known for their skilful cutting, intricate zardozi + chikan embroidery and the sheer drama of their pieces. They were amongst the first Indian designers to gain global recognition with Harrods, Harvey Nicks & Neiman Marcus stocking their pieces.

Sandeep explained that this was one of their first and most copied designs. It caught the eye of costume designer Lindy Hemming who dressed Sophie Marceau in the jacket for ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ from the Bond franchise.

My favourite image- showing the delicate beauty and intricacy of chikan work.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wore this beauty at Cannes this year.

Abu & Sandeep’s signature style of re-inventing the traditional has garnered a worldwide celebrity following including Dame Judi Dench, Amitabh Bachchan, and Victoria Beckham (to name a few!) They have also designed costumes for many a film who can forget Madhuri Dixit stunning outfits in Devdas.

Victoria Beckham Vogue India Nov 2008

Madhuri Dixit in Devdas

This stunning Bridal piece took two and a half months to hand embroider!

Loved this patchwork piece with gorgeous back detail.

Abu & Sandeep have also turned their hand to interiors, taking on one commission at a time- most of which take approx eighteen months as they get involved through the whole process down to every last detail.

‘It’s never about the furniture alone. We want to create a home. So every single thing counts. The Art, the carpets, the silver, even the ashtrays’ Sandeep Khosla

(Abu & Sandeep’s assistant hinted that a homewares line might be a possibility)

Pic of Meera Sharma and I with the designers next to one of their latest creations.

The exhibition gives a wonderful opportunity to see Indian Couture at its finest and is on 3-5th September at Sotheby’s. Do not miss it; my photos really don’t do the pieces justice.

The book is available to buy right now from Amazon

Many thanks to Sotheby’s and Abu & Sandeep for the quotes and further information.

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Behind the Scenes : ‘Barfi’ Uk Film Launch

Behind the scenes: ‘Barfi’ UK film launch

My friend Tony@Canvas got in touch to ask if I was free to help out at the ‘Barfi’ film launch last week. Hmmm the chance to be around Priyanka and Ranbir? HELL YES! I’ve been to many a fashion pr day but a film launch- never. There were two days of jam packed press interviews and a CRAZY meet and greet with the fans at Cineworld Feltham.

At the Press Day entrance- Ranbir was doing the promos alone on the first day.

In the evening we headed to Feltham where the fans went crazy for Ranbir! I’ve never seen anything like it! After signing autographs and taking pics with fans he judged a dance competition where some fans did their best Panchee dance and Ranbir sweetly joined in with them.

On the second day the Ohhh sooo gorgeous Priyanka Chopra joined Ranbir for the promos. She was promoting the film as well as answering questions on her eagerly awaited new single ‘In My City’ ft Will.i.am which is out Sept 13th.

Interview with B4U

PC looked super hot and mega love for the gorgeous Pop Att Shubh Labh necklace (Hindi for Good Luck)

The film itself is a sweet romantic comedy with Ranbir as Murphy a hearing and speech impaired guy who sees the lightness and joy in life. He’s joined by Priyanka Chopra as Jhilmil an autistic girl and I’leana D’Cruz who makes her Bollywood debut in the film. Enjoy the trailer and the film is out Sept 14th.

And thanks Tony for inviting me along!

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Karishma Shahani : Chauraha A/w 12/13

30th August 2012

I recently came across Karishma Shahani’s spectacular graduate collection ‘Yatra’ and have been keenly following her work since. Chauraha meaning crossroads is her latest offering and I caught up with the uber talent to find out more about the inspiration behind her label and collections.

Chauraha design boards

1) Describe your label in one sentence
India with love to the world

2) What’s the story behind the label?

Started in 2011, the label was born after graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2010. The label focuses on design as a celebration and its ways to fit contrasts in harmony. We work through re-interpretation of materials and their functions depending on current needs, creating heirlooms to be passed through generations. With an aim to create vertically integrated systems we stand as a means of promotion of global crafts. Combining a fusion of two extremes, make our products experimental and unconventional, while being hinged on modern functionality, reaching out to all from India with Love.

Chauraha silhouette design board

3) What’s the inspiration behind the a/w 12 collection? and describe your design process.

The core of the idea lies on the road trade and exchanges took place before the advent of technology. The idea of the mixing of cultures, people, ideologies and faiths aside from this business exchange forms the basic of our Chauraha or Crossroads. Integral to this idea were the strong visuals of people from differing culture amalgamating at the same place. The people who walked this road ranged from the richest to the most non-materialistic nomadic of human kind. The design process like our garments is organic and instinctive in nature. Toiling is done extensively alongside sampling for all the textures that fit the inspiration. Once we have enough information to work with we start putting these individual elements together, omitting some and enhancing others on the way.

Chauraha Colour/Mood board

Look Book

4) You’re known for having an ethical label, how important is it to you for it to be so and how do you do this?

It is very important to think about how and who your aesthetics affect. We maintain our ethical approach through local sourcing of fabrics, utilising hand-embroidery and applications to create our surfaces. With the use of local skills everything is produced inhouse with a no-waste whatsoever policy, where fabrics are re-used through different techniques i.e. lining with second-hand materials or end-of-line fabrics, ensuring every piece has a uniqueness and its own individuality. Through re-utilisation of already existing material / non-clothing materials we love to create self-run projects to explore their potential to wear and to hold. Through collaborations with social organisations we aim to increase our association with different craft regions. The idea is to make do with what we have, to give something new meaning to bring it up to our present context and requirements. This philosophy is not new to us and is highly ingrained with our Indian cultural context. The idea of heirlooms, of saving for our children, of inheriting all the beauty from your parents, of sharing not just values but our lives with our near and dear ones and of old is gold, it always will be.

Look Book

5) What have been your personal highlights for the brand so far?

With acknowledgements such as ‘Best Surface Textiles’, ‘Nina De York Illustration Award’, ‘Fashion Graduate of the year’, ‘Fashioning the Future- Unique Design Finalist’ and now being a part of Lakme Fashion Week 2012 are all highlights for the brand and for me personally. In other cases our work being acknowledged for its journey and its products are like a pat on your back which help you go on and not stop, it’s all those meaningful encouragements that do wonders.

Look Book

6) What are you future goals?

The goal in to make people more aware about how much power fashion has to affect lives of all those involved or those who come within its proximity. The ultimate aim is to create vertically integrated systems in which every part of each piece can be handcrafted with our support. Hence being able to grow our own cottons, dyes to weaving them to the finished product ready for the customer so we can steer our journey to a more aesthetically ethical future and confidently be able to say it is sustainable from India with love.

At Lakme Fashion Week

and lastly could you give me details of your stockists.

Bombay Electric, Mumbai

Thanks Karishma!

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