#ELLEExclusive: Saaksha & Kinni Reflecting On Their Latest Drop Pixel And Realigning Their Approach Towards Fashion
From infusing digital prints with handwoven textiles to going seasonless, the designer duo talks about it all
Sisters-in-law and fashion collaborators behind the label, Saaksha Bhat and Kinnari Kamat have championed the genre of resort/summer wear in India. While their designs are specially crafted for the modern Indian woman, it also has a global appeal. Bringing separate yet complementing expertise to the table – both Saaksha (NIFT graduate) and Kinnari (law graduate from the University of Manchester) have different approaches but similar goals when it comes to their brand.
Their eponymous label is known for eclectic prints, stylised western silhouettes in vivid palettes, infused with rich Indian textiles. The contemporary silhouettes with a blend of Indian weaves and boho-chic aesthetic provide the fashion connoisseurs with the best of both worlds. For their newest collection, Pixel, the duo has amalgamated brocade with digital prints, crafting an interesting fusion with an experimental fabric and intricate pattern inspired by the name of the line. The idea was to design ensembles that were statement-making, without compromising on the cosy and pandemic-friendly code of dressing, which people have now become accustomed to. Ahead of the launch, the designers talk to ELLE India in an exclusive interview about the collection and the change of tide in fashion.
ELLE: Tell us about your latest collection Pixel?
Saaksha & Kinni: Since the beginning of our design journey, we have been fascinated with the intricacy that lies within a print. We believe there is so much more to a motif than its mere colour or shape. The layers of shading, tones and textures within really capture the essence of a print. So for this collection, we wanted to celebrate pixelation within our prints – their shading, multiple tones and textures hidden inside. Pixel is all about dramatic and intricate prints that make you feel something.
ELLE: Your label is known for its digital prints, how do you manage to be inventive each time while also staying true to the brand’s signature style?
S&K: We think it’s important to stay authentic by not looking too much into trends or forecasts. We design each collection by focusing on what has 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 that makes it easy to stay inspired.
ELLE: You’ve incorporated handwoven brocade in this collection with your regular prints, tell us about this amalgamation?
S&K: We have always had a love affair with handlooms and the art of weaving. If the last year has taught us anything, it is that preservation of craftsmanship is the way forward 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 into pure brocade fabrics and we are so excited that this has now become part of our portfolio.
ELLE: This collection celebrates the return of normalcy, what was the thought process while designing it?
S&K: The main thought process behind this collection was to build a bridge between the dressing done during the past year, and the possibilities with clothing that lie ahead. To keep in mind that comfort had to be in the forefront of our garments, especially since lockdown has allowed us to really live in comfy clothes – be it sweatpants, oversized T-shirts or pyjamas! This collection was designed for women who can finally make a bold statement with their clothing whilst all the while remaining comfortable.
ELLE: How much has the audience’s approach changed while investing in fashion because of the pandemic, and has that lead to a change of strategy when it comes to design and business?
S&K: We think the audience’s approach and perspective have changed dramatically during the last year, and it certainly has made us sit and rethink our own models. Firstly we have officially gone seasonless – women should no longer have to be told when to wear their garments! Garments should be season fluid and timeless. Clients are also much more aware of who is making their clothes – whether they are a socially responsible brand and whether craftsmanship and artisans are being celebrated. Value for money of course is also a big talking point. As consumers ourselves it is important that we are spending on timeless pieces that not only easily translate into our own wardrobes but are versatile enough to be mixed and matched.