The co-founders of Shantanu & Nikhil, on their first Lakmé Fashion Week grand finale, gender-fluid couture and the season’s biggest trends
How did the association with Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) come about?
Lakmé is reinventing itself with the Ultimate Matte (makeup collection) and we’ve always been the custodians of fashion which is on a more matte and yet glamorous side. It’s a reinvention for us as well; when you think of matte, you think of palettes that would be deep and dark. Usually red is perceived as glamorous, but you will see a bright red in a matte format. It is understated glamour.
Describe the collection in a nutshell.
If you see a black and white film, with a glimpse of red, that sums up the collection.
Who is the Shantanu & Nikhil woman?
Our protagonist is a woman who’s leading the path for India and taking the baton of responsibilities forward. She’s creating a roadmap for both intellect and emotion and a gender-fluid path. The colour red really resonates with the power of a woman.
Which are some of the key pieces in the collection?
There’s a lot of structure (in the designs). We are doing garments with exaggerated shoulders, and there’s a lot of take from menswear. The menswear-inspired sherwanis have formed an important construction for us, and we’re teaming it with feminine drapes, mesh overlays and capes. The layered pieces are the ones to look out for.
One silhouette that encapsulates the Shantanu & Nikhil design philosophy.
It’s about reinventing nostalgia, and bringing a masculine energy in female form.
What are the big fashion trends this season?
He/me/she/her/them are all coming together in one. Silhouettes are oversized, yet they are fitted. It’s a play of mix-and-match. Colour blocking, and finding strength in one colour is a huge trend—in our case, it’s red. —SD
As one of India’s most anticipated art events, the India Art Fair is also a thriving platform for luxury brands to showcase design innovations and collaborative ventures. This year, Swiss watch brand Rado joins the event as its official timekeeper.
The brand is bringing the Rado Star Prize to India, a competition to recognize emerging design talent. The contest will be based on the theme “Design with Timeless Appeal". “We’re very excited to see up-and-coming Indian designers bring their unique vision to the theme," Matthias Breschan, Rado’s global CEO told the press. Rado hosted a masterclass on watchmaking and design on 31 January with the contest jury, which includes Hakim El Kadiri, VP, product management, Rado, IAF director Jagdip Jagpal, and artist duo Thukral and Tagra. A designated space at IAF is also being used to showcase the works of previous Rado Star Prize winners from around the world. —SD
Some TLC for your furry friends? Out of the Blue, in Khar, Mumbai, is hosting a pop-up treat for pets over the weekend. Aarti Desai, a city-based animal communicator and healer, promises a heart-to-heart with your four-legged companion based on telepathic communication. Whether you believe in the power of telepathy or not, Out of the Blue’s pet-friendly premises offer a sweet space for pets and their humans to hang out with each other.
Divine Pet Healing will be at Out of the Blue on 2 and 3 February. For details, call 9324839393.