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Saaksha Of Saaksha And Kinni Wants To Put The Diversity Of Indian Fashion On The World Map

  • IWB Post
  •  June 7, 2018

The fusion of two Ps – Passion and Purpose – gave birth to the third P of Perfection for the fashion designer duo Saaksha and Kinni (S&K). The purpose of giving Indian fashion a wider range and putting it on the global map was fulfilled by the passion of reviving the Indian roots whilst mixing with an array of prints, embroideries, and silhouettes.

Result? Perfection. The fact that in just two-and-a-half years they have gotten a big nod from the who’s who of Bollywood is a good indicator.

@sonamkapoor shows us how to nail airport style in our bandhani blouse and skirt with contrast bandhani cape ❤️. . . . #bollywood #fashion #travel #ootd #airport #style #designer #global #love #nyc #london #sonamkapoor #shopnow #online #luxury

382 Likes, 5 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “@sonamkapoor shows us how to nail airport style in our bandhani blouse and skirt with contrast…”

@therealkarismakapoor shines bright in our #Armourage skirt set & signature metal embroidered jacket. Styled by @eshaamiin1 ❤️ . . . . #winter #festive #love #jacket #print #karishmakapoor #celebrity #bollywood #india #london #instafashion #mood #latest #instagood #stylist

139 Likes, 4 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “@therealkarismakapoor shines bright in our #Armourage skirt set & signature metal embroidered…”

#SKCelebs @aliaabhatt so chic in our #Armourage printed tier dress! . Styled by @stylebyami & @shnoy09 ❤️ . . . #aliabhatt #saakshakinni #dress #fashion #saakshakinnirunway #lakmefashionweek #gennext #armourage #saakshakinni #art #culture #warrior #style #edgy #chic #fashion #london #india #world #travel #stylist #dark #metallic #mood #bollywood #online

145 Likes, 6 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “#SKCelebs @aliaabhatt so chic in our #Armourage printed tier dress! . Styled by @stylebyami &…”

A pool of prints, Indian embroideries, and comfortable yet chic silhouettes has made S&K stand out in the crowd of designers. The Mumbai-based duo with its use of Indian textiles like Bandhani, Ikat, embroideries like metal and badla with western silhouettes is totally killing it.

BTW, the dynamic duo of Saaksha Parekh and Kinni Kamat are sisters-in-law! Saaksha tells us what the brand aims for, the importance of originality, and much more in a breezy conversation with us. Read excerpts: 

You’ve defined S&K as impactful. Tell us about the one impact you wish for it to make?

To be worn globally and make Indian fashion popular for its unbelievably variant of styles. Not only the women in India, we want the women across the world to wear Indian prints and embroideries with pride. Yes, we are saris, lehengas, and everything hardcore & traditional but we’re also day-to-day comfort and contemporary.

Speaking of which, how and what have you explored about Indian roots through your label?

The first thing is that we’re way more and advanced than we know. During research, we travel and meet a lot of craftspeople and weavers, we have had massive discoveries of techniques that we have never heard abroad. Like we saw them weaving metal sheets through threads. That was a massive discovery.

@parineetichopra spotted in our white shirt dress with metal embroidered vest. Styled by @sanjanabatra ❤️ . . . . #parineeti #parineetichopra #saakshakinni #white #shirt #actress #bollywood #art #style #designer #design

121 Likes, 3 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “@parineetichopra spotted in our white shirt dress with metal embroidered vest. Styled by…”

One of such discoveries is cane embroidery using bamboo, which we are using for the upcoming collection.

Saaksha and Kinni

Saaksha and Kinni

I would like to add that as we’re racing forward in our lives and adapting new inventions, we need to stop and take a look at our heritage, hold its hand and move forward along with it.

Having been born and brought up in the UK, how are you mixing that with the Indian roots and culture?

It has been almost similar to the clothes of S&K. I am just like the silhouettes of the west mixing with Indian prints and embroideries.

Before we move forward, I need to ask if your brand is walking on the path of sustainability.

We’re walking and gradually picking up the garbage and cleaning. In the process, we have limited the usage of stones and sequins and have started to use bamboo and thread more instead. Also, the cloth materials are all handloom.

Our mentor Ekta Rajani has brought a great wave of sustainability by swapping plastic chai cups with clay cups for our karigars.

One of the most crucial problems we’re dealing with is sticking with originality. And, pages like Diet Sabya and Diet Prada are doing great by calling out copy-cats. What would your advice be for new designers on differentiating between inspiration and copying?

Being inspired and wanting to incorporate is not bad but you need to have your own story in it. The moment you like something, be it painting or music, and feel that you have to incorporate it, ask yourself – what is my story? What do I want to convey through this? Don’t replicate. That is not art.

After you’ve created it, compare with the reference. If it’s even 20% similar to it, scrap it. And, don’t resist from taking a review from a trusted third person. What you might have missed it, the person can guide you about it.

Tell us about your source of inspiration for the diverse prints that you use. How are they born?

Undoubtedly, prints are something we absolutely love! For our upcoming A/W season, we had at least 40 prints on board, of which we shortlisted 26-30. This is definitely one of the hardest things, it takes about 6-7 months. It’s a long process. Might sound cliche, but the world is our muse. Anything and everything that catches our attention is our source of inspiration. Paintings, nature, intricate work from Rajasthan and Gujarat, so many things.

Saaksha and Kinni

Saaksha, in recent times we’ve seen New York and London fashion weeks picking up and displaying important political and social messages. Do you think India is ready to do the same? 

Every moment, every second is the right time. Anything that is worth fighting is not easy but it’s important. The only thing we await is for the floodgates to open, which I believe will happen through a brave, senior designer.

That’s right. Ok, moving ahead, do your personal wardrobe aesthetics influence the brand designs?

I think it’s the opposite. Kinni and I are boring when it comes to personal wardrobe exploration and experimentation. Haha! Our color palette has mostly been black, brown, grey, white. But with the journey of S&K, we’re exploring and welcoming bold Indian colors in our personal collection too. This brand actually is our alter ego. It reflects what we wish to wear.

Saaksha and Kinni

And, what is your styling tip for our readers for a comfortable yet chic look?

Layering does wonders and magic. It also matches with a woman’s personality of multi-tasking.

#SKMuse @aditiraohydari showing us her take on styling our versatile #Nomada printed jacket ✨ @missmalini 💕Styled by @sanamratansi 😍 . . #aditiraohydari #missmalini #fashion #bollywood #celebrity #skcelebs #strong #women #india #chennai #southindia #love #asia #stylist #typography #type #collection #designer #fashion #indianbride #chic #edgy #magazine #friends #london

284 Likes, 24 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “#SKMuse @aditiraohydari showing us her take on styling our versatile #Nomada printed jacket ✨…”

@shraddhakapoor looking fabulous as always in our embellished signature print jacket & black palazzo pants. Styled by @shaleenanathani ❤️ assisted by @khushh89 💕* Available at www.saakshakinni.com * . . . . #saakshakinni #shraddhakapoor #shaleenanathani #india #movie #bollywood #promotion #love #media #fashion #celebrities #celebrities #paris #newyork #online #shopnow

372 Likes, 17 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “@shraddhakapoor looking fabulous as always in our embellished signature print jacket & black…”

In the past two-and-a-half years, almost every celebrated Bollywood female actor has worn S&K. But, who reflects your brand values the most?

Oh, it has to be Kalki Koechlin. We love her and her attitude. She is an artist who uplifts new designers by choosing to wear them. She is well-traveled, well-educated and yet is grounded in her roots. She is unapologetic in speaking and demanding for change for a progressive society.

@kalkikanmani stunning as usual! ♥️ #Repost @thought_cloud (@get_repost) ・・・ #kalkikoechlin for @betterhomesandgardensindia Wearing #SaakshaAndKinni #Patine #Aquamarine Photographer : @taras84 #styledByMe make up: @nittigoenka Hair: @ladyatplay_bytarsha Art Director: @anuradha_sen Fashion Asst: @shettysim #fashion #fw17 #editorial

110 Likes, 2 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “@kalkikanmani stunning as usual! ♥️ #Repost @thought_cloud (@get_repost) ・・・ #kalkikoechlin for…”

@kalkikanmani spotted in our #Armourage tier skirt & blouse💞. Styled by @shreejarajgopal 🖤 . . . . #kalki #saakshakinni #print #blouse #skirt #actress #bollywood #indian #london #travel #art #artist #style #stylist #designer #design #indianwedding #bride #bridal

125 Likes, 2 Comments – S A A K S H A & K I N N I (@saakshakinni) on Instagram: “@kalkikanmani spotted in our #Armourage tier skirt & blouse💞. Styled by @shreejarajgopal 🖤 . . . ….”

Lastly, how does S&K promote inclusivity?

Our first ever lookbook championed dark-skinned models. We’re looking forward to including a lot more of these.

Saaksha and Kinni

Saaksha (right) with Kinni.

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