Fashion

Designers Rahul Khanna and Rohit Gandhi bring their Interstellar collection to Chennai

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Written in the stars: Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, who have seen 22 years in the rapidly changing world of fashion, present Interstellar, their collection inspired by the galaxy

Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna started designing in 1997. That was long before Facebook and Instagram came into existence and became propagators of creative work. Things relied a great deal on word of mouth back then. In comparison, designers today have it a lot easier, believes Rahul, one half of fashion label Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna. “In the initial days, we did everything... we were designers, button makers and managers of the brand,” smiles Rahul, who was in the city to showcase Interstellar, the label’s Winter Festive 19 collection that they showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week in August this year, after a break of 15 years.

Shimmer, sequins, crystals and hematite stones abound in this collection that has silhouettes in satins, frosted silks, tulles and organza. Expect slits, power shoulders and elements that border on futuristic style and a colour palette dominated by black, grey, pewter blue, and white. “The line is inspired by the galaxy. It revolves around stars and star bursts. There are geometric patterns like you would see in the galaxy,” explains Rahul. As with most RGRK clothes, the bling is muted. “When we do embellishments, we oxidise it so it looks subtle,” he says.

Rahul and Rohit are constantly trying to innovate. This is how they have stayed relevant in a rapidly changing market. Over the last 22 years, they have designed clothes for generation X, millennials and now gen Z. It is challenging creating for different age brackets, he admits. Since the younger clients are ready to experiment and don’t shy away from colour, their clothes have a touch of quirkiness. “We give them new shapes and cuts. But lately, I have noticed, what we make for millennials is being worn by an older crowd too,” he says and with a laugh adds, “I am wearing those fun clothes, and I am 45.”

In the last five years, clients have become a lot more specific too. The millennials, especially, want eco-friendly and organic materials. They don’t want to wear synthetic. They want pure fabric. “That is where the market is going. We have started using recyclable fabric. We are doing more research and have started a silk and khadi mix,” he says. The label has a cell that looks at new innovations in fabrics, elements of design, what youngsters these days want. With customers shopping on their phones, RGRK is making their e-commerce more viable.

“We are diversifying our business into different segments, starting with home furnishing that is launching next month. We just did a line of carpets. In addition, we also run the Palette Art gallery in Delhi and curate art shows,” he adds. Plus, they have started work on their line for 2020: it is all about sheer organza. The focus will largely be on wearability and finishing, something they are as particular about as construction skills and minimalism.

Interstellar is on display till December 25 at Evoluzione, 3, Khader Nawaz Khan Road.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 4:34:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/designers-rahul-khanna-and-rohit-gandhi-bring-their-interstellar-collection-to-chennai/article30138399.ece

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