CLOTHES FOR A LOCKDOWN LIFESTYLE: PANKAJ & NIDHI’S ‘KALICO’ COLLECTION - The Daily Guardian
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CLOTHES FOR A LOCKDOWN LIFESTYLE: PANKAJ & NIDHI’S ‘KALICO’ COLLECTION

Designers Pankaj and Nidhi have launched their easy-breezy summer collection ‘Kalico’ as the perfect accompaniment to life in lockdown.

Noor Anand Chawla

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With the world undergoing a sea-change in its consumption habits, fashion has not been left unaffected. Popular designer duo Pankaj & Nidhi were quick to observe the change in the sartorial needs of Indians in lockdown, battling the pandemic’s terrible second wave. Hence, for their Spring / Summer collection this year, the designers had a simple mantra – to create clothes that were comfortable yet stylish.

Designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi

Aptly titled ‘Kalico’, their latest collection was inspired by Calico textiles – the woodblock printed or painted floral patterned textiles that originated in the city of Calicut or Hyderabad in the 16th century. Also sometimes referred to as Chintz, these prints are traditionally worked on superior quality cotton known for its durability and comfort.

“With our Kalico collection, we aim to create silhouettes that invoke the idea of calmness and peace. Keeping in mind these difficult times, we wanted to design a Pret collection that is breathable, comfortable, chic yet soothing and affordable. Our clothes are made with soft, flowing, undulating fabrics to ensure that life in quarantine mode continues to be lived in perfect harmony. The selection offers a delicate interplay of soft dainty prints to bring out the romance and modernity of these exclusive designs,” explain the talented designers.

This Spring / Summer collection is an assortment of easy, breezy and soothing garments in a mix of natural colours and mellow hues. Each piece is carefully crafted with detailed hand embroidery on linen and cotton fabrics, making it pleasing to the eye without any fluff or fuss. The designers unabashedly claim that their forte lies in, “keeping the classiness intact through impeccably demure and universally flattering outfits.” The silhouettes in the collection are perfect for work-related zoom calls or for lounging at home.

Their design sensibilities arise from their creative bent of mind and educational background. Pankaj Ahuja graduated with top Honours from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (N.I.F.T.). He won the ‘Uma Nath Gold Medal’ for showing excellence in academics and the ‘Ritu Kumar’ Award for the Best Graduating Collection of 1995. He was also the recipient of the first ever Smirnoff International Fashion Award in 1994.After garnering these prestigious institutional accolades, he worked with one of India’s leading designers as the Head of Design for a period 10 years. During his tenure there, he met and married his colleague Nidhi, who herself is a bright and creative alumnus of N.I.F.T. She holds the distinction of having worked with one of India’s leading export firms, ‘The Creative Group’, which designs and produces work for some of the biggest designer labels in Europe. In 2006, the couple took the plunge and become business partners by launching their eponymous label Pankaj & Nidhi.They received their first recognition together in October 2010, when they won the Grand First Prize at the International Apparel Federation’s, ‘International Fashion Awards’, held at the World Apparel Convention in Hong Kong that year. From there, they have gone on to win numerous noteworthy awards, and have received recognition nationally and internationally through the years.

Their brand signature is to make great quality pieces with unique designs that are known for being comfortable, and their muse is the independent-minded woman of today. For the Kalico collection especially, they chose to focus on fabrics and silhouettes that can be worn if one is lounging at home or spending a warm sunny day outdoors. The classic pieces can also hold their own during outings and small get-togethers when things return to a semblance of normalcy.

“We made sure this collection is easy to style, comfortable and luxe – it is very unique and versatile. Our creations are spontaneous and aim to charm both the viewer and the wearer. Above all, we love to be generous with the use of colour, inspired by the symbolic and cultural objects around us. At the same time, we strive to ensure that the craftsmanship we deliver is impeccable and speaks a contemporary language for women who love freedom and authenticity and are on a constant quest for originality,” they say, signing off with a smile.

The summer ‘Kalico’ collection consists of numerous ensembles, such as soft jackets, playful cropped shirts, easy-to-style pocket dresses, stylish co-ord sets, and versatile tunics, to name a few. ‘Kalico’ and all previous collections of Pankaj & Nidhi are available on their website www.pankajandnidhi.com, shipping across India and the globe, as well as in Pankaj & Nidhi stores in Mumbai and New Delhi.

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