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PANKAJ AND NIDHI
Runway Report
 

A new mood began at Pankaj and Nidhi this season, with the most confident collection the duo has designed to date. Steeped in military inspiration, particularly German Hussars, the duo seamlessly added vintage military detailing to eveningwear crafted with merino wool, jersey, tulle, crepe, silk, neoprene and bespoke striped grosgrain fabric. Hailing from an Army background, Pankaj has an emotional connect. "I was inspired by a book on the illustrated history of vintage uniforms. My dad was in the Army and I have fond memories of him in uniform. Melding influences, we tried to capture German Hussars, in their ceremonial uniforms, in the 1870s—early 19th century," he reveals.

 

From the first look that appeared with a drum-roll and military music, a masculine precision persisted in the tailoring — which balanced out the sculpted cocktail dresses and evening gowns accessorised with army badges. The collection was austere yet playful, keeping the label’s signature style alive. The regimental stripes created out of ribbons, contrast collars, quilting and intricate bejewelled embroideries added an artistic textural feel to the looks. After all, their muse is an ingenue — one who would love to cross-pollinate sensuous cocktail dresses, evening gowns, long skirts, capes, pants and jackets detailed with braids, cords and fringes — and accessorised with multiple badges of honour, appellate, medals and brass buttons, giving military aesthetic a stylish upgrade than a straightforward homage! The theme of military reverence was present in each look without sacrificing youthful femininity. 

 

What I loved most however was the accessories — hats, backpacks, messenger bags and clutches — adorned with badges. Thinking back, there wasn't a hard edge in the collection nor has the duo altered their aesthetic for the thematic showing... and that suits their loyal clientele just fine!

— JASMEEN DUGAL

 
 
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PANKAJ AND NIDHI - INDIA COUTURE WEEK 2019  
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