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Intricate Commitment | The Indian Express

Summary. Related. Designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi Ahuja,whose creative collaboration began when they both worked and trained under Rohit Bal are now a resonant fashion voice in their own right. Two days back,when their Autumn-Winter 2011 collection inspired by sashiko no donza a form of intricate quilting and embroidery worn by the fisherman community of Awaji islands,Japan,walked down the ramp at WIFW,it became clear why. Superbly constructed,their garments– this time with delicate geometric patterns and mat-like patterns– in pink and white colours that would woo a variety of cultures–reiterated that the duo invest as much in meaning as in appeal. Pankaj and Nidhi are married to each other. They are also married to a commitment to extensive research before coming out with a fashion line and to the idea of genuinity in creative pursuit. Being genuine is a behavioural notion. When it gets distilled into clothes,it gives the voice of originality that is so much the need of the hour in Indian fashion. It compels the creator to be loyal to every customer,through the thought put behind every garment,even if the customer is ignorant about the intentions of the designer. Research is presumably what led Pankaj and Nidhi to invest in a Japanese technique of quilting into their work. It is a painstaking process; their clothes make that evident. Choosing a Japanese theme also means becoming a part of the chorus of empathy for Japan,something that has global relevance this season. The husband and wife,we are told,spend weeks reading fashion books to research cultural and sociological influences on clothing. They follow this by experimenting with new fabrics in their Noida-based factory. They prioritise creative risks over hobnobbing with customers; politely refuse personal consultations; instead encouraging their customers to visit their stores. They havent allowed themselves to become glorified darzis,available at the beck and call of some lady who wants a sleeve shorter,a hemline longer. They have never ever invited Bollywood stars to be their showstoppers. They do not have aggressive PR representatives who force the idea of Pankaj and Nidhi from the rooftops. Do they get upset when people praise them to the skies without understanding why? I suspect but do not know and intend to ask them soon. But it is because they keep their feelings about fashion and the fashion industry quilted,their clothes,as someone said after the show,are faultless.
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