Saaksha and Kinni reflect on their latest drop pixel and realign their approach to fashion
The sisters-in-law and fashion collaborators behind the brand, Saaksha Bhat and Kinnari Kamat have championed the resort / summer clothing genre in India. Although their designs are specially designed for the modern Indian woman, they also have global appeal. Bringing distinct but complementary expertise to the table – Saaksha (NIFT graduate) and Kinnari (University of Manchester law graduate) have different approaches but similar goals when it comes to their brand.
Their namesake brand is known for its eclectic prints, stylized Western silhouettes in vivid palettes infused with rich Indian textiles. Contemporary silhouettes with a mix of Indian weaves and bohemian-chic aesthetics offer fashion connoisseurs the best of both worlds. For their new collection, Pixel, the duo merged brocade with digital prints, creating an interesting fusion with experimental fabric and an intricate pattern inspired by the line’s name. The idea was to design outfits that made statements, without compromising the comfortable, pandemic-friendly dress code that people have now become accustomed to. Ahead of the launch, the designers chat with ELLE India in an exclusive interview about the collection and the evolution of fashion.
ELLE: Tell us about your latest Pixel collection?
Saaksha and Kinni: From the start of our design journey, we have been fascinated by the complexity that lies in a print. We believe that a pattern is more than just its color or shape. The layers of shading, tones and textures inside really capture the essence of a print. So, for this collection, we wanted to celebrate the pixelation within our prints – their shading, multiple tones and textures hidden inside. Pixel is all about dramatic, intricate prints that make you feel something.
ELLE: Your label is known for its digital prints, how do you go about being inventive every time while staying true to the brand’s signature style?
S&K: We think it’s important to stay authentic by not looking too much at trends or forecasts. We design each collection focusing on what inspired us, be it paintings, travel or Indian heritage. There is an abundance of inspiration all around us, especially in a country like ours, and it makes it easy to stay inspired.
ELLE: You have incorporated hand-woven brocade in this collection along with your usual prints, tell us about this fusion?
S&K: We have always had a love affair with looms and the art of weaving. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that preserving craftsmanship is the way to go and with that notion we wanted to start experimenting with our Ikats and other prints. It was a natural progression to be able to weave our ikats in pure brocade fabrics and we are so excited that it is now part of our portfolio.
ELLE: This collection celebrates the return to normal, what was the thought process when designing it?
S&K: The main thought process behind this collection was to build a bridge between the dressing made over the past year and the possibilities with the clothes that lie ahead. To keep in mind that comfort had to be at the forefront of our clothing, especially since confinement allowed us to truly live in comfortable clothing – be it sweatpants, oversized T-shirts or pajamas! This collection was designed for women who can finally make a bold statement with their clothes while still being comfortable.
ELLE: How much has the public’s approach to investing in fashion changed because of the pandemic, and has this led to a change in design and business strategy?
S&K: We think the audience’s approach and perspective has changed dramatically over the past year, and that has certainly made us sit down and rethink our own models. First of all, we’re officially out of season – women shouldn’t have to be told when to wear their clothes anymore! Clothing should be fluid and timeless. Customers are also much more aware of who makes their clothes – whether it is a socially responsible brand and whether craftsmanship and artisans are celebrated. The price-performance ratio is of course also an important topic of discussion. As consumers ourselves, it’s important that we spend on timeless pieces that not only translate easily into our own wardrobes, but are versatile enough to mix and match.