Designer wear gets pocket-friendly

Oct 16, 2015, 19:09 IST


Pocket-friendly prices and the designers’ signature pattern-heavy style; here's what to expect from Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja’s newest collaboration.


The CV
Husband and wife duo Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja started their eponymous label in 2006. Both graduates of NIFT, they met on the job—Pankaj was at Rohit Bal while Nidhi worked at an export firm. The couple have earned fame for their ability to experiment with weaves and embroideries on directional, contemporary silhouettes.

Talking about one of their inspirations for the Koovs line, Pankaj reveals, “We pictured Portuguese tiles and ceramics. It’s this blue-and-white pottery that’s very beautiful, but we were thinking more of a tea party that went a bit wild.”

New Collab
The line for Koovs was Pankaj & Nidhi’s first foray into the e-commerce space, an opportunity that they leapt at. “It’s targeted at a younger, tech-savvier, trendier set. They are actually helping with the democratisation of fashion,” says Pankaj. “Collaborations like these are changing the industry landscape; it’s the only way to bring in a kind of newness to fashion.”

Design Code
Over the last few seasons, the duo has increasingly focussed on the possibilities of graphic prints, while still highlighting traditional crafts. Take for example their spring/summer 2015 line, which featured images of clocks and charms from a box of trinkets. Pankaj says, initial few years were very about designing by hand came upon the print idea. are like a  painting. It makes cost-effective but you still embroidery and you can play dyes and colours.”


Celeb spotting
From red carpet veterans like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone to fresh-faced young stars like Alia Bhatt and Shraddha Kapoor, everyone’s got Pankaj
& Nidhi on speed dial.

New Season
For fall/winter 2015, the duo delved into the mineral world. Delicate embroidery and mirror-work recreated the shine and shimmer of gems, while a print of magnified rubies covered everything from cocktail gowns to a trouser suit set. A baroque floral pattern in shades of ochre, silver and navy brought us up and out from the depths of the earth. 

They created five different print stories for the collaboration—two with jewels, two with ceramic plates and one with motifs from playing cards. “The common strain is the broken element; the shattered plates, the fragments of gems. Normally we are organised and symmetrical, so we wanted to do something different. It was all about breaking and reassembling.”

For Koovs, the designers say their shapes are, “a little younger, slightly sexier too, perhaps.” That translates to fitted dresses, jumpsuits, fit and flare skirts, and maxi dresses. “There’s an ease to everything. It’s to the point, not overly fussy or complicated.”