At a time when we have receded inwards into ourselves and the safety of our homes, our minds also reflect those changes, and fashion is an extension of that. While we seek comfort and cosiness for our at-home lifestyles, the fashion industry has been swift in adapting by shifting their focus to pret and Pankaj & Nidhi’s summer collection called Kalico makes big strides in the same direction. Merging their couture expertise in cuts and fabrics, Kalico is a relaxed pret line with summery floral prints on breathable cottons for those long summer days at home or intimate gatherings when we start going out.
Let us not forget that the designer duo have been keen on adapting sustainability not just as a trend but as a practice with minimising wastes and innovative fabrics. This goes to show the versatility of the designers and how they have mindfully kept evolving, with Kalico being a step towards that too. Here’s more in the words of the designers.
Pankaj & Nidhi
What was the inspiration behind Kalico?
The name Kalico is derived from calico textiles, referring to woodblock-printed or painted floral-patterned textiles that originated in Hyderabad in the 16th century, also called chintz textiles. We have incorporated these chintz prints in this collection on very superior quality cottons that are very high on comfort.
With the timing of the launch, how do you think it will fit into our home lifestyles?
Keeping in mind these tough times, we wanted to design a pret collection which is breathable, comfortable, chic yet soothing and affordable. Something that brings peace and calm in these times of chaos. We are spending a lot of time at home. We wanted to offer pieces that make you feel comfortable yet stylish.
What has been the process of creation behind this collection? How does it differ for a pret line from your couture sense of aesthetics?
A designer’s collection always reflects their mood and state of mind. We found ourselves being drawn to things that calm and de-stress us. We were drawn to music, yoga, baking and cooking. We filled our house with plants and greenery. Kalico reflects all that and we hope the wearer also feels soothed, calm and comfortable with these pieces.
With the industry once again at crossroads, what do you think is the future of fashion in terms of sustainability — both for business and all the stakes involved in it?
The pandemic allowed us to take a step back and create a controlled collection wherein the focus was solely on producing quality garments, while actively reducing our environmental footprint. We have been forced to reduce the quantity of production, sticking to a focused and tighter collection with each piece and design counting more.
The idea of sustainability is a big part of our vision but there still is a long way to go. We are actively trying to minimise waste that is produced in the process of manufacturing. We have discovered fabrics that have been made out of recycled plastic bottles and other waste products. It feels surreal to acknowledge that what was once a discarded plastic bottle, has now turned into this beautiful fabric that feels like a dream — soft and luxurious.
What next from Pankaj & Nidhi?
We are focusing our energies on more pret collections like Kalico in the future. Our collections will keep evolving with the times, and we will always stay true to our brand signature of making great quality pieces with a unique design language and comfort at its core.
Pictures courtesy: Pankaj & Nidhi