She is famous for her experimental jewellery. He is known for his individualistic design sense. Together they’ve etched a prime place for Hyderabad on the national fashion map

She is famous for her experimental jewellery. He is known for his individualistic design sense. Together they’ve etched a prime place for Hyderabad on the national fashion map. While Suhani Pittie plays with copper, steel, leather and cord to create new-age jewellery, Anand Kabra loves to indulge his creative instincts with indigenous fabrics, textures and colours.

Together in Chennai for a show at Evoluzione, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, today (11 a.m. onwards) the duo discuss their latest lines and design sensibilities…

Suhani Pittie

EDEN AND AESTHETICS The line for Chennai is what I displayed recently at Lakme Fashion Week. “Child of Eden”, as it is called encompasses ancient crafts like Bidri and filigree. It’s 22k gold plating or 92.5 silver plating on copper. My style has always been earthy. And you can’t miss the urban twist. Though the brand’s DNA is strongly Indian, the pieces are interpreted in a way that it appeals to the global woman of today. There are peacocks and swans, leaves and flowers. The prices points are between Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 15,000. A child is the epitome of innocence and free spirit. And Eden is the most beautiful garden that the mind’s eye can perceive. Now put the child in Eden. What you get is a wonderful combination!

STYLE MEETS AFFORDABILITY Look at the women around you. They have a mind of their own. They belong to the future, yet they are one with their past and their surroundings. My jewellery is somewhat like that. I have worked with silver, copper, steel, acrylic, wood, resin etc. I want women to wear and enjoy jewellery. So I prefer materials that are unusual and affordable. I will keep looking around and pushing boundaries. My design sensibility is unapologetically individualistic. Non-confirming in a confirming way. It means many things. It’s an open-ended dialogue.

PARALLEL ART Freedom of thought translates into free-spirited work. It is this spirit that allows a designer to play, juxtapose, contradict and yet confirm. Instead of ‘experimental’, I would call it an alternative thought process. It’s not about a ‘product’ to the client. It’s the materialistic transfer of an emotion.

CREATIVITY AND CHALLENGE I want to outdo myself every time. When you are one with yourself and your environment, it’s pretty easy to create. Everything affects your mood. Rustling leaves, bangle makers on the road, new songs, movies, history books… everything becomes a part of your creative journey. I’m somewhat a time traveller. I can sit in my office and belong to another era or place. It just comes from my emotion at that moment. Once, I saw jatra dancers outside my home in the old city. The result, an entire collection based on ghungroo and the sacred thread – moli. Then there were coins depicting the Nizam era, steel moons reflecting Islam and Shiva. The coloured plated copper was the urban kaleidoscope and the more recent creations signify simple childhood fantasies. When you are not trying to recreate what’s already there, instead simply doing what inspires you, honestly, it’s a brand new day... everyday!

DREAM RUN To be named by the World Gold Council as one among the top ten jewellery designers in the world is very encouraging. The biggest industry body coming forth and patting you surely feels like you are doing something right. Now, I’m on my toes, pushing myself to do better! When I was chosen by the British Council to showcase my collection for the British Royalty, it felt nice, because I knew people trusted me. It was another opportunity for me to prove myself.

ANAND KABRA

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY My new line has been inspired by so many things – Nature and quietude, fluidity and austerity. I’ve used a rang of fabrics from comfortable cottons and lush silks to interesting blends. The line has autobiographical connotations. It reflects my state of mind – what I’m going through. We all learn from the past and get prepared to face the future. The collection is a visual narration of these thoughts. The colour story is blue-green. There are also whites and blacks.

PAST MEETS PRESENT It’s quite a tightrope walk to balance the classic and the cotemporary in design. I try to take elements from the past and make it relevant to the present sensibility.

CREATIVE DEPARTURE The muse for this current collection is more mature. So the clothes are cut differently compared to my previous lines. But they are all easy to wear, fuss-free clothes. I’ve used subtle embellishments such as zardosi, cutwork, lace, beading and cord work.

MAKING IT NATIONALLY As far as I’m concerned, merit makes you stand apart. I’ve always counted on hard work and skill. My USP is my Nizam-inspirations that give my creations a regional flavour. Colours, embellishments or sensibility, there’s a distinct South Indian touch that appeals nationally.

SCALPEL OR SCISSORS Yes, I gave up Medicine to pursue design. It was very difficult in the beginning. Everyday I questioned myself if I had made the right decision. But today it seems like an obvious choice. I often wonder why the hell I thought of Medicine!