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Stitching in-laws


ONE FOR THE ALBUM: Designer Anju Modi with her daughter-in-law, Priyanka and son Ankur. Photo: S. Subramanium.

EVER HEARD of friends-in-laws? One also hadn't, before coming across this combination of designers, who "complement" each other, though they are in a relationship where competition is in fashion and an industry where an additional cut throat adds to the buzz. The ladies answer to the call of Anju Modi and Priyanka Modi. If the former swears by couture, the latter loves pręt, if the mother-in-law is all about glitter, the daughter-in-law defines subtlety.

"See, we harmonise each other. Today, fashion has sneaked into all types of clothing. It is no more limited to party wear," says Anju talking about the synergy in her friendly relationship with her daughter-in-law.


Priyanka feels it is their backgrounds, which make them gel well. "I am from Kanpur and she is from Ranchi. We both have a simple and straightforward look towards life. No show offs," shares Priyanka, who launched her pręt label am:pm this past week together with her husband Ankur Modi at their store, 1MG Road.

Reminiscing, Priyanka feels her education at London Centre of Fashion and a three-year stint at Nitya, a leading French design company, didn't click things in her favour. "I was studying at Mayo College, Ajmer. There I got introduced to Ankur through some common friends. One thing led to the other and we got married three years back. He is not into fashion per se, but he has strong sense of market demands." Ankur, who looks after the business aspect compliments, "She has a strong educational background and an eye for the current trends. Her designs are contemporary yet feminine."

Talk of her mother-in-law and Priyanka's face lights up. "She is very open-minded. She has allowed me to create a space for myself. Yes, we have our differences as far as fashion goes. She stands for ethnic wear with lots of embroidery and heavy work, while mine is western with sharp cuts and minimum embellishments. Still she tries to incorporate my views whenever she works on her collection and I also use her experience. She has a vast knowledge about fabrics and colour combinations."

Indeed, she has. In 15 years of her career, Anju has fiddled with the word different with finesse. Be it developing a blended fabric with zari in Varanasi or using bandhini in the late 90s, Anju contributed to keeping the Indian fashion industry rooted to `Bharat'. She has also worked with Kota fabrics, vegetable dyes and modernised traditional chanderi weaving and patterns. Lately, she was involved in turning stiff khadi into soft, trendy silhouettes. "Today, cuts are getting sharper and there is increasing demand for prints, and the importance of embroidery and heavy work is diminishing. Here, Priyanka is a good guide for me."

Isn't it too much of fashion?

"No, it's only at the studio. At home, we seldom talk about it. It is all about food and relationships," concur the friends-in-law. Beyond fashion, Anju finds Priyanka a very good cook. "She is very homely. What I like about her is her unflinching commitment towards work and family. Whatever she does she stands by it, even if she has made a mistake." And Priyanka? She simply takes laws out of the relationship.

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