Lighting design company Klove creates masterpieces that are dramatic and whimsical; co-founders, Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth open up about the studio's design philosophy, its most striking pieces and the future of Klove.
Gautam Seth and Prateek Jain
All clothing and accessories, Seth and Jain’s own.
ELLE: What is Klove’s design philosophy?
Prateek Jain: We simply love to tell stories through scale and drama. We want to create surreal objects; to evoke passion through our installations; to have our works linger in the minds of people long after they have seen them. All through our creative journey, everything Gautam [Seth, cofounder] and I have designed has stuck to this. We like to have a spiritual connection to what we create, because everything we do is from our hearts.
Flower And Bird from Shamanic Soul
ELLE: Dramatic lighting installations and pieces in hand blown glass are your signature—from your collections like Nordic (2016) and Shamanic Soul (2018), to your collaborations like Alice, the most recent one with Arttd’inox (2019). How do you feel Klove has evolved?
PJ: We started without any education in design, and never knew which materials to play with. So, while we could visualise something, we didn’t necessarily always know how to make it happen. We have learnt a lot over time—each piece has a path, and comes together over years of ideation and formation—but there’s still so much to discover. The process is never-ending. Not only do you learn new ways to do things, you also learn what not to do or how to do it better.
Abundance from Totems Over Time
ELLE: How did the collaboration with Arttd’inox come about?
PJ: We’ve worked together on a few pieces before, and there has always been respect for each other’s craft. Gautam and I come from a background in glass. Using another medium as the primary element was interesting. Blending the boldness of steel with the fragility of glass to make sculptural pieces was something we were really excited about. When Deepika Jindal, executive creative director and managing director, Arttd’inox, came to us last year with a proposal to collaborate, it was a no-brainer as the Jindals are the best name in steel.
Struck By Cupid from Shamanic Soul
ELLE: What message did you want to convey with Alice?
PJ: We wanted to make the classic Alice In Wonderland story relatable to our time, because it still has the same appeal it always had. Today, the choices women make are under a lot of scrutiny, definitely more so than if a man made those same choices. Alice, in our version, goes through the rabbit hole and comes out the other end unapologetic, fierce and in complete control. That was what we wanted to achieve.
Jeweller Sapna Kumar as Alice
ELLE: What inspired the limited edition Totems Over Time line of wall installations that was unveiled at India Design ID 2019 in February?
PJ: It was the first time we did only wall installations. They evolved from our last collection, Shamanic Soul, inspired by the lives of shamans. To us, each piece signifies a different theme: abundance, protection, vision, and beauty. We did not start out with these in mind, but saw them evolve as they came together.
ELLE: What are you currently working on?
PJ: This month, we’re spending a few weeks immersed in an artistin- residence programme at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. It is eco-friendly resort, and has a studio where its waste glass is turned into works of art. We are going to use this material to create a capsule collection for the hotel.
ELLE: What does the future hold for Klove?
PJ: For us, the thrilling part is to design, and people are now looking to us more for installations. We are also working on taking our creations international soon.
Photograph: Nayantara Parikh; Sittings Editor: Pujarini Ghosh
Hair and Makeup: Blossom Kochhar; College of Creative Arts and Design; Location courtesy: Andaz Delhi