Kanika Naisha Nagpal plunged into the fashion vanguard at a young age. Following a course in fashion design from Pearl Academy of Fashion and internship under Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna she launched her flagship in Shahpur Jat where her collections never fail to stir the most harried fashion editor or the most demanding client.
I had been hearing 1600 A.D. was a promising fashion label of the new guard and dropped in one day to take a look. Walking into the young designer's vintage-chic studio I was spellbound by the ambience because I love it when a designer's studio is assembled to reflect her ideologies. Kanika has a gift for artfully elevating iconic vintage styles. Why is the label titled 1600 A.D.? "My design aesthetic is steeped in Baroque and this was the era when Baroque was big. The title also reflects vintage glam" she explained. With just a few collections behind her it's impressive that she's honed a distinctive style of vintage glamour by infusing the ideologies of 'Rock Glam' with 'Baroque' to create Indian wear and cocktail couture. "I focus on quality and a clear design concept—self-expression through a fusion of vintage glamour and rebellion so the garments break free from tradition. That's why I use dissimilar elements like metal (edgy vibe) and pearls (elegant feel) on Indian embroidery to give it a contemporary look" she explains. "My concentration is on pattern and embellishment which transforms saris and fluid gowns.. sculpted dresses and crop jackets with equal ease. The label's vision is to build a foundation of 'liberal thinking’."
After checking out the collections I now understood why her garments continue to show up on the red carpet but who would she love to see flaunting her design? "Sonam Kapoor! She is always game to experiment and break traditional norms!" Is it any wonder then that despite new labels mushrooming on the fashion landscape, 1600 A.D. hits the right note?
— JASMEEN DUGAL
421, Ground Floor, Near Dada Jungi House, Shahpurjat, New Delhi