Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, the name is synonymous with couture. Voluptuous fabrics, intricate embroideries and dazzling embellishments—the duo loves to live it up. As fashion sees a change amid the new normal, Sandeep Khosla stresses on the resilience of Indian spirit and how eventually we will be back celebrating life and occasions, dressed in our best!
Khosla begins the conversation with a spontaneous statement, “No lockdown learning for me, even before the pandemic I was pretty much at peace with myself.”
Times have been tough, with pay cut, job loss and what not! Even a designer of his repute has not been able to escape the pressure of running his business in the new scenario. “The lockdown has everyone stressed, that’s why we see what we see on social media. People are angry. These are uncertain times. Brides are not sure if they are getting married, or what kind of a wedding is it going to be —it’s been tough on everyone.”
The duo has risen to the occasion. “We support DesignOne Online. They have been doing great work and in times of Covid, we are happy to be part of relief efforts.” While the pandemic has put fashion on the back seat, Khosla feels it’s a temporary phase. “We are lucky to have a terrace in Mumbai to walk on. Yes, people spent the lockdown in tracks and tee-s but nobody was happy about it. People would eventually find occasions to dress up. It might take time but fashion isn’t something that would go away.”
Nor does he believe in taking fashion online. “While it’s okay for prêt to take the digital route, not couture. Our embroideries are to be touched, felt, enjoyed and not ordered online.”
Completing 34 years of partnership in personal and professional life, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla don’t want to be labelled as ‘veterans’ of the fashion industry. “We are forever reinventing, and rather be in touch with the pulse of today.”
Like any partners, they have their share of disagreements. “Had we agreed on everything that would have been boring.” Creativity binds them. “I am an aggressive Punjabi and Abu a strong, balanced Mumbaikar. It’s our creative call that has worked like magic. India is our home and would forever be our inspiration.”
From a standing ovation for their first show to a National Award for costume designing for Devdas, together they have covered quite a distance. Highs, of course come with lows. “A fire that destroyed all that we had created had been one of our lowest points. We believe these are parts of life.”
Punjabi all the way
Born and brought up in Punjab, Sandeep Khosla has kept his love for everything Punjabi alive. “The baggage claim area at T2, Mumbai has Phulkari for pattern. As for our love for Punjabi food, you can make out from our appearance,” Khosla laughs. Chandigarh too treasures sweet memories for him. “I remember catching movies at Neelam, KC and Piccadilly. What fun times!”
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