Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla’s creations have been donned by big names in Bollywood including Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, but the celebrated designer duo have kept away from designing in films as they believe the budget is one of the issues.
“Movies don’t have huge budgets for costume design or creative independence and freedom. It’s rare to find a Sanjay Leela Bhansali who invests in that area and respects designers to allow them free rein.
“We are perfectionists, maximalists and nitpickers when it comes to quality and detail. We are also fiercely independent. So, we would only do costume design if we worked with those principles and budgets,” Jani said.
The Bachchan family is one of their loyal clients. Asked how they would define the style of Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya, Khosla said: “Amitabh Bachchan is the ultimate connoisseur of luxe and style chameleon par excellence. Jaya Bachchan is a woman empowered who dresses to suit herself and nobody else. Secure in her sense of style and exudes it with absolute grace.
“Abhishek Bachchan is global at heart with a touch of gangsta charm. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is a goddess with a 100 avatars.”
The designer duo, for whom India has always been their muse, will be the opening designers of BMW India Bridal Fashion Week, which will kick-start here from Friday.
Titled ‘Varanasi’, the collection will pay homage to the city. The show will be a multi-layered presentation that combines myriad elements, celebration, festivity, music and silence, spirituality and creativity. It is an ode to the coming together of the mind, body and soul.
The collections are designed to showcase the rich legacy of silks, brocades, gold and silver thread work and carpet weaving that the city is renowned for. These traditional fabrics and motifs will find new expression through their couture.
The palette too will reflect the different moods and unique spirit of the city. From the pristine white that symbolises purity and renunciation to the yellow, saffron and orange and then onto a riot of Holi hues ending with vermilion, India’s signature bridal hue, as the finale.
“Varanasi has always left a deep impression upon us. Its history, energy, spirituality and symbolism as well as its astonishing legacy of craftsmanship. We’ve worked with weaves indigenous to the city over the years. But there is always a moment… a time when those impressions are translated into a solid and dedicated expression. This is that moment for us. And the collection is the result.
“It is an ode to everything we hold dear about the city and its indestructible soul,” said Jani.
“The ensemble will be the showstopper. And the woman wearing it a goddess who deserves no less than the cream of the collection,” shared Khosla.
Since its the wedding season, has the market changed over the years?
“The big, fat wedding has gotten bigger and fatter and both more and less Indian. We are celebrating our customs more and more and rejoicing in our traditions, clothes and jewels.
“We are also becoming increasingly global in our taste… More destination weddings, more western wear in the form of ball gowns and black tie. It’s fine to experiment with other cultures. The trick is to retain pride and respect in what is beautiful about one’s own. Just make sure it’s the best of all worlds, all cultures,” said Jani.
Plan to expand their brand?
“We have just done a soft launch of our international label, JANI KHOSLA, which is Made in India but designed for the world. We have already received a wonderful response and look forward to its growth. We also wish to take our label, Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, global,” said Khosla.