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Runway Report

Pankaj and Nidhi stunned guests, buyers and fashion media with the sheer intricacy of their work, rethinking the vocabulary of ready- to- wear with couture lens and intelligently applying their design aesthetic to each show narrative. The duo won Grand First Prize at International Apparel Federation's International Fashion Award, Hong Kong in 2010, International Woolmark Prize in 2012, and were honoured Elle Designer of the Year 2012. So, it was no wonder there was a lot of excitement to view their collection, in collaboration with R-ELAN, at Lakme Fashion Week.


What's most interesting about the duo's collection is that they blur the lines between couture craftsmanship and ready- to- wear. ''Ready- to- wear doesn't mean it has to be inexpensive; it means it must be available on the racks and not something that is custom designed. The expensive ones have intricate design whereas the less expensive pieces have intricate design in smaller measures. For us, this blurring of boundaries between ready- to- wear and couture is quite interesting. Our past collections have been borderline couture. That's just the way we were designing them. It wasn't a conscious effort to do this or that'' they told me in a recent conversation.


This season, the designers crafted chiffon and knit jumpsuits, skirts, maxi dresses, cropped bomber jackets, and puff sleeve blouses — with focus on comfort, sustainability and versatility. I loved how the geometric squares, circles and demi-circles dominated the collection in a soft, art- deco inspired palette! Owing to their collaboration with R-ELAN, they used technologically advanced fabrics with antimicrobial properties; it absorbs sweat and keeps the wearer fresh and comfortable for hours. GreenGold, made of recycled plastic PET bottles, a feel as luxurious as silk; FeelFresh, with anti-microbial properties; KoolTex, which absorbs perspiration.


After the fashion film ended, I couldn't help wonder how the duo had used atypical fabrics with mathematical precision. to make each look very, very wearable and stylish. It will be engaging to watch how Pankaj and Nidhi fine-tunes and expands their vision, going forward. Salut.


— Jasmeen Dugal

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