Sotheby’s to celebrate 25 years of designers Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla (With Image)

July 17th, 2012 - 12:44 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Indian contemporary fashion will be talk of London Sep 3-5 with Sotheby’s opening an exhibition of designer wear and interior decor by celebrated designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.

The exhibition, “India Fantastique” will coincide with the launch of two volumes of books about the clothes created by the designers and the history of the Jani-Khosla label. The couturiers celebrate their 25th anniversary this year, Sotheby’s said in a statement Monday.

Known both for their fashion creations for men and women and for interior designs, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla’s reputation extends far beyond India, the statement said. Many international celebrities wear Jani-Khosla creations, among them Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Sophie Marceau and Sarah Brown.

They are stocked internationally in Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London and Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus in New York.

Together, the duo have built a 25-year-old 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.

“Abu and I thought long and hard about how we wanted to celebrate our milestone, and also about how we would use this celebration to set the vision for our creativity and ourselves in the next 25 years. It soon became clear that a book, or rather two as it turned out to be, was the ideal vehicle,” Khosla said.

The first volume of India Fantastique displays dozens of the duo’s designs while 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.

Paramount in both books is the duo’s rediscovery and revivification of once moribund traditional crafts including chikan (whitework) and zardozi (gold thread embroidery), and the ways in
which they make use of local artisans and reinvent their heritage by redeploying Indian antiques, the statement said.

The 600-page volumes are collectors’ items with specially commissioned photographs, Sotheby’s said.

Khosla and Jani met by chance in 1986. Abu was born in Mumbai and started out as a costume designer in the film industry and 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.

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, Sotheby’s said.

“We are unabashedly Indian in our aesthetics. And passionately in love with the rich cultural, historic and design legacy of our land. Design is our way of paying homage to that beauty. By taking it into the 21st century,” Jani said.

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