Falguni Shane Peacock can't stop smiling. They have just received the prestigious Shiromani award at the NRI World Summit in London for their contribution to the world of fashion and philanthropic initiatives via The Peacock Foundation.
"Awards like these reaffirm our faith in our core values and aesthetic. It helps in boosting our confidence," says Shane.
In an interview with Lounge, the duo talks about their collection that will be presented at the FDCI-led India Couture Week, Love Forever, their storytelling technique through fashion, and more. Edited excerpts:
Globally, you do more risqué bodysuits… more theme-oriented, fun pieces for couture. While in India, you play safe with bridal wear. What can we expect this time?
We've started enjoying making couture for Indian brides. We've come to terms with the fact that we don't want to showcase something avant-garde, which won't have a real connect with our customer here. Couture in India is about the celebration of families coming together for weddings and we've accepted it.
What are you attempting in terms of construction embroidery and surface ornamentation?
We've experimented with different lengths of lehngas, tweaking their proportions to create gown-like silhouettes. We didn't want to do gowns, and also wanted to change people's dated perception of lehnga. We've added drapes to the lehngas and beautiful long embroidered veils inspired by our trips to the Taj Mahal.
French, Italian and Indian architectures have always been on our moodboard and hence, you see those touches reflecting in our embroideries and surface texturing. Moreover, we've introduced new hues for brides besides our signature whites, silvers and pastels.
Who's your muse this season?
Our muse has always been the Indian bride. She's the epitome of Indian couture. She has to look the best.
You’ve experimented with feathers for a decade now and currently, from Gucci to Saint Laurent, feathers are having a moment of sorts. How do you attempt to take your feather narrative forward?
Feathers have always been our key insignias. I remember when we did a suit with feathered sleeves many seasons ago, it was received with a bit of skepticism. A star didn't want to wear it back then. However, global brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent have accelerated feathers' acceptance universally.
You’ve also toyed with chainmail fabrics…
We've always been about glamour, sparkle and edginess. Our interpretation has been about maximalism while keeping wearability in mind. We have worked hard in editing and refining our overall designs.
Couture weeks are all about theatrics and storytelling. Your fashion films like the Taj Mahal show were well received. Any innovation in storytelling this time?
Our new campaign is called Love Forever, a continuation of the last collection. This time we are inspired by French tapestries, which we came across during our international trips, be it the Met museum or the House of Lords.
You’ve always been associated with upbeat showstoppers and unconventional brides. What qualities do you look for in a showstopper?
She has to match the sensibilities of the brand and enjoys wearing our pieces in a special way.
You have stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. How are your couture customers different in each city, in terms of taste and buying behaviour?
When you walk into our store, you know you're coming for glamour. The potential for buying and budgets are different. There are aspirational people in all cities. Delhi market is great and if they love it, they buy it. That's one of the reasons we opened first in Delhi.
Gauri Khan has designed your stores. What was it like collaborating with her?
Gauri came to our space, we exchanged ideas and brainstormed and that's when the association started. While our flagship Mumbai store is all marble with pink doors, she suggested a similar vibe for our newly opened Hyderabad store but with black doors. Our association with Gauri will always be there. If we like someone, we are always associated with that person.
Sarah Jessica Parker wore your ensemble on ‘And Just Like That’. How did that help your brand?
We have always had a following in the US. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Mindy Kaling and Radhika Jones (Vanity Fair editor) have worn our creations for many years. And Sarah Jessica Parker's pick of our ensemble in the series definitely amped up the sales.