Modern fashionscape’s seasons and sensibilities are defined by prêt-à-porter and couture, but there are a few emerging designers challenging these conventions. One such designer is QUOD’s Ikshit Pande. QUOD is packed with ideas that highlight the nuances of sharp tailoring, casual elements of couture, and edgy hints of street style. Imagine layers of tulle impeccably stitched together to shape a voluminous skirt, dramatic shirt dresses with exaggerated shoulders, and embroidered capes fit for the red carpet; Pande’s ability to fuse disparate elements seamlessly makes him one-of-a-kind. A Parsons graduate, his creations have been noticed by New York’s finest and were recently showcased at the New York Fashion Week.
A former brand communications manager at Royal Enfield, Pande decide to merge his passion for art, design, and clothing. He found answers in his label Quod Erat Demonstrandum (QUOD), a Latin term that translates to ‘thus it has been demonstrated’. As a designer, he wanted to create a brand which was a manifestation of his ideas and thoughts. At a closer glance, it is easy to observe that he sees fashion through an interdisciplinary frame. His latest collection showcased in September 2019 at the NYFW aimed at defining what fashion in 21st century is about; experimental tailoring, unconventional silhouettes, elements of modern street wear, and classic formal wear. Just in case you want to infuse your wardrobe with QUOD’s too-cool-for-school pieces, the label is stocked at Ogaan (Mumbai and New Delhi).
He gave us a complete low-down on his experiences, creative process, and obsession with tailoring.
On his experiences at New York Fashion Week
The most challenging aspect of the entire experience was to develop garments and accessories for the capsule. The looks that went down the runway were all meticulously finished by a team of seasoned cutters, seamstresses, and hand-workers – investing over 720 hours of collaborative craftsmanship. When you present a capsule like that on an extravagant, live scale – that too for a first time—a lot of things can go wrong. But with the collaborative efforts of Flying Solo (a unique platform that brings together a diverse group of designers from all over the globe to New York Fashion Week), we pulled it off without any glitches.
On his brand’s ethos
It is also about the contrast of things. In ideas (street style – evening ball gown aesthetic), culture (New York – New Delhi), techniques (RTW—Couture), materials (formal tailoring fabrics—feminine tulle), or proportions (sharp body accentuating cuts – voluminous sleeves, flares), and more. Lastly and the most important, it is about doing the new, the never thought of, the unexplored. To push the world’s dressing agenda effortlessly. To be unapologetically feminine but feminine that says 2019 and always moving forward by borrowing from the past.
On his creative process
Every time I start with a different reference or process point. Sometimes it is a mood board or just an image. Other times it could be a piece of vintage clothing from a pop-up market or an excerpt from a book or poetry. Poetry is life-saving. All in all, operationally there is a lot of draping, collaging, sketching, re-draping, and so on. It is never when the final sketched looks are ready is when the collection is ready as well. Almost never is the final collection more than 10% identical to what we had sketched it out to be.
On his latest collection
All QUOD collections are a non-conventional take on contemporary womenswear. Embodying the essence of femininity, the collections bring together elements from the polar opposite worlds of modern streetwear and classic formal wear. Sharply cut yet exaggerated, the collection follows a monochromatic colour palette, featuring a lot of intricate details. With seams and darts on the outside, the collection fuses classic tailoring fabrics like cotton suiting and shirting with tulle and net, and hand-embroidered original artworks.
We love to work with contrasts. The crispness of formal suiting and shirting (cotton) fabrics is what personally draws me a lot. For womenswear, it is almost like a power statement. It feels good to wear suiting and shirting fabrics like a natural armour of sorts.
On leaving brand communications for fashion design
The journey has been simply rewarding. Cliché but true. Once you make your interest your profession, no day seems like work. I had always loved what I was doing prior to the design school, but there was always this urge to take it forward, to evolve it into another space/dimension. With Parsons and the experiences that followed, QUOD is the embodiment of that pursuit.