Ashish Soni showcases his Nokia-inspired collection at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week this Saturday. NANDINI NAIR reports

Inspiration often comes from unlikely places. Today we have a fashion designer inspired by a phone. Nokia has partnered Ashish Soni, India's leading fashion designer, to develop a collection inspired by an upcoming luxury handset. Soni's collection will be showcased this Saturday at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. Explaining this unusual synergy, Shefali Cha Chhi, Brand Marketing Head of Nokia and Soni share that the same target audience and the devotion to style and design brought the two together. To Soni their common market is "Young India". "My consumer is the same as the one who buys a luxury high-end phone." Soni says that originally he had not planned to participate in WLFW due to his forthcoming New York show. However, a Nokia user for the last 10 years, Soni confesses that the idea to develop a collection around the handset was "too good to resist" and calls it a "perfect marriage". A self-confessed fan of technology, to him Nokia stands for both quality and design. He says he has incorporated the shape, design and colour aspects of the phone in his collection. "It is a perfect Spring-Summer collection.

Design as soul

"Historically", says Cha Chhi, asserting the importance of design, "Design has been the soul of the brand." The human body inspires Nokia's designs. Explaining this, Cha Chhi says that since the human body has no sharp edges, the device should not. She adds, "Making it more human, that's where design plays an important role." The human essence must permeate the look and feel of the phone. Working on this very principle, Soni says in his collection, "There are a lot of soft feels, there is nothing sharp, it is very curvaceous." To create this effect he has used drapes, nips and tucks. To make gentle silhouettes he has stuck to cottons, canvas, very light wools and summer silks. The entire collection is largely in white, enhanced only by black, steel and grey. He will display a majority of this collection at his New York show as well. Tight-lipped about the forthcoming luxury handset, Cha Chhi says, "I cannot talk much about the phone. It is not just about a phone, it's about asserting style and leadership." The details of the handset are yet unknown. But now one can learn about the design of the Nokia handset from the clothes on Soni's ramp.