Saaksha & Kinni, the label, is their vision, expression and an ode to their tradition, say Saaksha Parekh and Kinni Kamat. The label was launched two years ago to create impactful and comfortable occasion wear. The duo has an experience of over eight years in designing embroidery swatches for leading brands such as Balmain, Ellie Saab and Armani but eventually they decided to translate their embroideries into their own garments back home.
Saaksha and Kinni will be presenting their new collection titled Raas at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2018. Talking about it, Kamat says, “Our upcoming collection pays homage to the woman revelling in Raas, the traditional folk dance of Gujarat.” The duo state that they see their love for Gujarat come alive in the form of bandhani, patola and leheriya prints, bold colours and original embroideries. The collection will feature the cane weaving tradition of the Kotwalia tribe of South Gujarat which will be reinterpreted through metal and thread interweaving techniques.
“The garments are global in nature but have the traditional Gujarati prints covering them and the silhouettes are easy to mix and match — blouses, shirts, skirts and dresses which are comfortable, colourful and playful — much like Raas,” adds Kamat.
She adds that their label stands for boldness, comfort and tradition translated into modernity. “The aim of the brand is to celebrate the tradition and culture of India. So while retaining its prints, colours and embroidery techniques, we merge them with global silhouettes in order to reach as many women as possible,” she says.
When asked what made them start their own enterprise back home after working abroad for the forerunners of the fashion industry, Parekh says that the handloom industry is rapidly picking up momentum. “With the success and promotion of sustainability, handloom is at the forefront,” she says adding, “When the future of the earth is in question, measures and practices such as these must be taken seriously.”
The duo add that since India is home to the handloom and textile industry, the decision came easily to them. “We found a gap in the market for global silhouettes carrying Indian karigari techniques,” Parekh said, adding that the idea was to bridge the gap and introduce old age hand embroidery techniques to the modern global silhouette.
The duo believe that fashion is a great way to tell a story and reflect an emotion. “It is definitely challenging since the story and emotion being told must be worthy,” says Kamat. “Making beautiful clothes is easy, what’s hard is translating a story for your consumer and making her listen to something that’s relevant and worthy of her time,” she adds.
Fashion is one field which is ever evolving — right from a mere sketch to the execution for the ramp. But Parekh says that calling fashion ever changing is an understatement. She explains, “A sketch changes a 100 times until execution is complete and once the execution occurs, the look once again drastically changes for ramp as we then mix and match textures and layering to create the strongest impact possible.”
Vitality has become a part of glamour and more and more women now find strength and empowerment in fashion. Parekh and Kamat agree that women treat their clothes as armour — psychological or otherwise. “They protect her courage, individuality and self-assuredness and help narrate stories without having to utter a single word which simply is the power of fashion.”