COVID-19 pandemic has changed our perspective on our craft: Pankaj and Nidhi

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) Ace designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja say the COVID-19 pandemic has altered their perspective towards fashion as they now strive to become more environmentally-friendly with their creations.

The designers presented their collection 'Kaleido' at the ongoing FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week 'phygital' edition, with blend of virtual and on-ground events, here on Wednesday.

In an email interview with PTI, Pankaj and Nidhi said they have realised the importance of reducing wastage with their designs and clothes.

'The pandemic has definitely changed our perspective on our craft. We've realised how prudent and imperative it is to design sharp and focused collections - reduce waste by designing less and ensuring each sample and each stitch and each cut of cloth counts.

'Our planet and nature need nurturing and so do our creative souls and there won’t be peace if one comes at the cost of the other,' the designer couple said.

Pankaj said their future collections will be all about wearability and feeling good.

'The fabric is our immediate environment. Humankind has its environment in nature but the body’s immediate environment is the clothing that we wear. These are cool and comfortably stylish,' he added.

From the stage to conception to execution, sustainability is an idea all designers must embrace, believes Nidhi.

'Even small individual contributions make a difference - and we are doing it by reducing waste, using recycled materials, producing sensibly and making each item worthy of being bought with some conscience,' she said.

Their new range 'Kaleido' is billed as an explosion of technicolour, featuring geometrical designs with a burst of rainbow hues of red, orange, pink, ultraviolet blue and electric green.

'The collection is inspired by a kaleidoscope and the myriad of unique patterns and visuals it offers. We’ve always loved geometrics. This time we were really fascinated with how patterns keep changing when you view them through a kaleidoscope,' Pankaj said.

Nidhi added that the silhouettes, containing flowing maxi and mini dresses and tailored co-ord sets, are all holiday ready.

'The fabrics are sheer, translucent, breathable and easy to wear. A kaleidoscope generates changing symmetrical patterns from small pieces of coloured glass, symbolising constant evolution. Creatively, too, we are always evolving, and this is the essence of our collection,' she said.

The fashion gala, which opened Tuesday, is being organised by Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) in a hybrid format.

Though they miss presenting their collection in front of a live audience, the designers also believe that the future will be powered by virtual showcases.

'Nothing can take away from the physical audience appreciating your show in real time, but Phygital has allowed us to experiment with technology. It also helps in reaching a wider audience and in the democratisation of fashion,' Pankaj said.

Nidhi believes digital fashion shows have the potential to appeal to a much wider audience.

'Although, physical events, having a limited number of seating and a limited targeted audience, helps the audience to connect emotionally to the show.

'This current edition might not be a one-off moment in history but we do hope there's an amalgamation of digital and physical in the future that will help us reach and show our creations to a diverse and wider audience,' she added.

The fashion week will close on Sunday. PTI RB RDS RB RB RB