Mirrors create magical designs
It's hard to break free from the ornate J. J. Valaya look if you've worked with him as an assistant for four years. But NIFT-product Ashish Pandey refused to get stagnated, and three year ago he moved on, to launch his own label. Jaipur-born and bred Pandey's collection reflects the spirit of the vivacious land of colours and backless cholis.
In his second year at the LIFW, Pandey has revived the magic of Kutch and Rajasthan in his intricate embroideries and Indian silhouettes. "I'm not showing on the ramp this year because Mumbai is an alien city and, with no infrastructure facilities, it would be tough for a beginner like me," says Pandey. In the Indianwear Pandey has concentrated on saris and long kurtas, and for the diffusion line he has brocade patches with Kundan work, and mirrors teamed up with resham work.
"The surprise is a young western line that I'm preparing to unveil this year that is done totally in black georgette and satin. The skirts and corset tops have an Oriental feel in their embroidery but these 15 pieces cater to the fashion conscious age group of 25-30 years," informs Pandey.
The classic all-black line specially created for the fashion week has everything from kaftan tops to kimonos with Chinese floral embroidery that can be teamed up with almost anything. Though Pandey is aware that his focus on Indian wear will not get him buyers in Selfridges, he admits that he did manage to get noticed in last year's fashion week. "I'm retailing in UK at Ram Chandra Krishan Chandra and Variety Silk House, and in the domestic market I sell from Kaaya and Shopper's Stop."
Admitting that colours are his forte and predominant in all his collections, Pandey adds that though Oriental is the flavour this year on the ramp, the real test is to keep western elements of design in mind and yet maintain the ethnic touch.