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Designing clothes is like writing a song, say Pankaj and Nidhi

The designer duo on their Amalfi-inspired new collection, which will be showcased at the upcoming FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week, and collaboration with Logitech  

Designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja. 
Designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja.  (Courtesy Pankaj & Nidhi)

Designers Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja are going to showcase a collection full of bright colours and abstract designs at the FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week, which starts on 5 October. 

Inspired by Italy's Amalfi coast, the husband-wife duo says the collection evokes “wanderlust, a yearning for finding one's happy space, to travel, to live, to work and to play.” The designers have collaborated with Logitech, a design-led company, for the new line and created chic sleeves that will be presented as part of the collection. The collaboration, Srinivas Rao Vishnubhotla, country head of Logitech India, said, was “aimed at weaving deeper connections with young millennials who are looking for simple, minimalistic products that accentuate their lifestyle with the latest in technology and design.”

A similar fun theme runs through the entire collection, which plays with a colour palette of coral pinks, terracotta orange, sapphire sea blue and leafy greens—all influenced from Amalfi's chalky pastel tones of painted walls and frescoes. The designs have been hand-painted in an abstract style and crafted digitally into delicate fabrics such as diaphanous organza and flowing recycled chiffons and voiles. Cutwork laces and jacquards add a playful luxury holiday mood to the collection. The silhouettes consist of easy to mix separates, cropped tops and exuberant billowing sleeved blouses, tiered skirts and graceful min-max dresses.  

We spoke to the designers about the collection and their happy place. Edited excerpts:

Also read: Pastels still rule Indian festive fashion

Why Amalfi, and not any other place?

It’s one of our favourite places. It has so much heart and soul. In one sense, Amalfi is also a metaphor, reflecting of a pining for being able to travel anywhere freely—each one to one’s own favorite destination, in a quest for a happy space.

The collection is filled with a lot of bright colours. Is this a post-pandemic demand?

It’s interesting how a collection evolves with sometimes a mind of its own. Contrary to what people might think, a designer doesn’t just sit down one day at his studio and decide to use a certain shade of yellow or pink; it’s a flow, much like writing a song… the idea exists in your space but it comes to life as one works through it. It’s just so happens that bold colors are something we, as a brand, have been known for in our pret collections. This one turned out to soak in the Mediterranean air and all the corals and dusty wall-paint  lilacs and shades of lemon tree greens with it. Bringing a smile to ourselves while designing is vital to our creative process and we also hope to have the same effect on the wearer and viewer.

The designers' moodboard for the collection.
The designers' moodboard for the collection. (Courtesy Pankaj & Nidhi)

Crop tops seem to be a current favorite. You have it in your collection too. What makes it such an attractive garment?

We feel crop tops are trendy yet classic. Everyone has a crop top in their wardrobe because it goes with everything. A crop top’s ability to be mixed and match is unmatched. More than any other style we feel you can have it for years and it will never go out of style.

Is the collection targeted towards any particular age group?

Age is just a number. Our silhouettes will look good on a 50-year-old as well as a teenager.

What do you want the viewer to leave with after watching your collection?

These are clothes they could wear with comfort and ease, they are easy to layer and self-style, and we hope to leave the audience clamoring for more. These are clothes for work and play, for holidays as well as home. Clothes that make you happy.

What’s your happy place?

Our happy space is being surrounded with family and friends… travelling as much as being in the comfort of our home. Being in a creative profession is something we don’t take for granted. It’s gives us a great sense of joy to work with our teams, to be a part of shows, to collaborate.

Also read: Why Bvlgari recreated the ‘mangalsutra’


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