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Urbane, sophisticated, and with a hint of flirtation – that’s how one can sum up designers Pankaj & Nidhi’s oeuvre. Over the past few years, the designer duo has shaped a concrete narrative for themselves by juggling a number of elements fearlessly and melding them to create pieces that can easily double as couture. For their latest showcase at LMIFW, the designers have taken inspiration from the famed art galleries and museums of Amsterdam. Elevating their signature graphic sensibilities, they have played with a number of patterns and prints, keeping it dark and decadent. We will also get to see a revised version of their signature quilting techniques and hints of exquisite embellishments. 

Pankaj and Nidhi spoke to Lifestyle Asia and gave us a complete lowdown on their upcoming collection.

What are the highlights of your latest collection for LMIFWAW19? What’s the story you are trying to tell?

Our love affair with museums and art continues to inspire us. This time, it was a walk through the galleries of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Among several inspiring works, one made a deep impression – Dutch artist Jan Davidsz de Heem’s ‘Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase’ ( 1650-1683 ). The detail and realism in this rather small painting is breathtaking.

Could you walk us through the creative process leading up to the collection?

‘Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase’ made its way  into our home recently, on a magnified customised wallpaper and it’s the first thing we look at every morning with our first cup of coffee, the best part of our day.

It’s no coincidence then that it became the starting point of our design process for fall. We’ve worked our graphic sensibilities to make a collection cascading from florals to origami-like geometric patterns on rich taffeta, silk velvets and organza. At the heart of every collection lies the texturisation we like to give our textiles.

What are the specific materials or techniques that you have employed? 

We revived our intricate trapunto quilting and an army of scissor-wielding hands have cut petals and discs, squares and trellises in fabric and metallic faux leather to create the surfaces that embellish the pieces. Alongside seeing quilting work on a print instead of a solid colour for the first time, the collection showcases the signature ribbon work and lattice technique, this time in the form of a mesh and then being embellished. The line uses a variety of materials like wool jersey with a lattice technique, velvets with a subtle sheen and also showcase tweed for the first time.

Can you shed some light on a few pieces from your latest line which reflect your brand’s ethos?

Our silhouettes and techniques reflect our brand’s ethos. Then there are our freestyle cape jackets, A-line dresses, ruffled skirts, asymmetrical dresses with our signature ribbon work, and lattice technique. 

How would you describe your muse, through your creations?

A muse of Pankaj & Nidhi is someone who values and appreciates creativity and craftsmanship. A global woman, a traveller, someone with a good sense of humour and who can carry all clothes with confidence and style. It’s not someone specific but it’s many women. Everyone who comes to buy our clothes is a muse for us.

All images: Courtesy brand

Anupam Dabral
Sr. Associate Editor
It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.