‘India Fantastique’ debuts at Sotheby’s
Posted by Indian Fashion Police on September 8, 2012
‘INDIA FANTASTIQUE’ MAKES ITS INTERNATIONAL DEBUT AT SOTHEBY’S, LONDON
The book ‘India Fantastique’ premiered at an exclusive, by invitation only, event at Sotheby’s, London. Dame Judi Dench and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan were the ‘Guests of Honours’ who released the book at this much anticipated evening.
Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla have dressed Hollywood stars of the calibre of Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Freida Pinto and Sophie Marceau. The designer duo is known for their their creation and interior designing in India as well as internationally.
The two met by chance in 1986. Abu was born in Mumbai and started out as a costume designer in the film industry. Sandeep was born in Kapurthala, Punjab and started out in the family leather business. The decision to work together was taken instantly and their first collection, ‘Mata Hari’, arrived just four months later. Their mission………to create the finest. A seemingly impossible dream. Neither possessed any formal qualifications, neither had money to invest. What they did have in abundance was raw talent and an unswerving belief in their own creativity.
Classical Elegance is their signature style. The finest fabrics, impossibly fine hand-embroidery, delicate embellishments and flawless finishing are their hallmarks. They are known as the Masters of Revival and Reinvention, taking ancient techniques and craftsmanship and elevating it to standards never seen before. Chikankari, Zardozi, Tharad, Mirrorwork are just some of the old that they have now made new.
The first volume of India Fantastique displays dozens of the duo’s impossibly elegant designs created over the past 25 years, including close- ups of exquisitely crafted details. The second volume focuses on their extensive work in interior design. Their hallmark maximalism runs riot in privately commissioned interiors, which incorporate art, artifacts, antiques and vintage textiles.
Dame Judi Dench spoke about the designer duo, “I first noticed Sophie Marceau wearing an Abu Sandeep creation on the sets of the Bond movie ’The World is Not Enough’. When i asked Lindy Hemming who was the costume designer for the movie, she put me in touch with the boys and the association has continued to date I am happy to say.”
“They walked into my house one morning, years ago,a shy smile on their faces and a world of expectation in their eyes. Jaya introduced them to me as Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, young men stepping into the world of couture, in the city of opportunity – Mumbai. They were very talented, my wife Jaya had gushed, an opinion that often takes ample time over before passing. I recognized immediately that they were destined to be our favourites, and I was not wrong.” said Amitabh Bachchan .
Prior to this, an exhibition of the designers’ work was held at Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1, from 3rd to 5th September, to coincide with the launch of India Fantastique. (pix attached)
Designed to literally bring the volumes to life, the exhibition was a 3-D showcase of their 25-year careers, featuring masterworks of couture, craft, textiles and art, juxtaposed with sumptuous photographic highlights from the books.
The spectacular evening had a guest list naturally comprising of A-listers such as Lakshmi and Usha Mittal, Anil and Kiran Agarwal, Gurinder Chadha, Tony Morgan, Robin Woodhead etc.
India Fantastique is a beautiful insight into the world of Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, India’s most celebrated couturiers, showcasing their creativity in all its myriad forms, from fashion to furniture, and celebrates their twenty-fifth anniversary year.
Together, they have built a 25-year partnership that has included designing for leading actors and actresses, working with directors on costumes for epic Bollywood films, and building a brand that exudes luxury, artistry and Indian tradition. Their world unites India’s ancient cultural heritage with original contemporary design.
Twenty-five years in design has seen them achieve many a dream. And as they bask in this moment, there is no greater tribute they can pay to their journey than dreaming anew. Always bigger, always better…
Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla design installations at Sotheby’s
Courtesy : Tandem Communications
Photo Credits : Phillip J Scott