Designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla spell out the secret to everlasting style.
Tell us about your 33-year journey, as in the contrast from the earliest Mata Hari collections to the contemporary lines designed by you.
From our first collection to our current one, 33 years on, our mission has been to be original and to create the finest. Our focus is reinvention. Of traditional and heritage embroideries, of classical silhouettes, of fashion rules themselves. To see the old through brand new eyes. Our sensibilities and aesthetics are firmly grounded, our expression has expanded. We began with couture. We now have diffusion and pret labels as well.
We have always broken rules, set trends and followed our own creative imagination. It is in our artist DNA to always set higher standards for ourselves. Every collection we create is therefore about challenging and breaking our own bar.
What’s the fashion forecast? What will be the trends for 2020?
Our latest collections are our trends and fashion forecast for 2020. Along with our classics and eternal love for embroideries, we have taken fabrics and employed them to create 3D sculptural expressions. Lots of neon, a lavish use of layering and a whole lot of fun. For men, our new label, Mard by Abu Sandeep, puts a radical 21st century spin on silhouettes.Monochrome is huge. As is pop art and folk.
How can the new-age bride avoid the cliched look?
A bride is a bride is a bride. And a classic is never a cliche. We would say avoid the trendy, ditch the gimmicky, experiment with your ensembles only so much as they work to enhance your own beauty. Whether you wear a traditional ensemble or choose a new silhouette or colour, make sure it is perfect for you the bride and does for you and this occasion, full justice.
How does one achieve the right style without getting overpowered by excess?
It’s all about balance. About ensuring your ensemble and accessories don’t overpower you. You are the star. Your ensembles, jewellery, hair and make-up must reflect that. By all means experiment and push boundaries, but only so far as they serve you. If you feel good you look good. Make sure you aren’t weighed down by an outfit that makes you uncomfortable.
How to make classics relevant in everyday style?
A Classic is by definition, forever. Beauty doesn’t lose its relevance. One can always reinvent or reinterpret a classic. You can drape a sari in a novel way. You can replace a traditional choli with a concept blouse. Silhouettes can be infused with newness. A sherwani with a lehenga, a jacket with a sari. But the essential nature of a classic means it will always be timeless and forever.