Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla ready to work on Bollywood project

(Calcutta Tube) They have been in the fashion business for 24 years but done very few costumes for Bollywood. Now Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla want to work on an entire movie, provided the director shares their vision and can afford their services.

Popularly known as ‘the boys’, the Mumbai-based duo is known for designing the Bachchan family’s wardrobe and dressing up the likes of Dimple Kapadia and Shah Rukh Khan. The two created a few costumes for epic dramas like ‘Devdas’, ‘Umrao Jaan’ and ‘Lajja’, but haven’t worked on a full fledged film project so far.

‘Our aesthetic sensibilities require a director with both the vision and the wallet to allow us carte blanche (full authority). We would love to work on an entire project,’ Sandeep told IANS.

The duo is known for the revival of yesteryear works of art by moulding them in a contemporary style. The duo’s romance with chikankari needs no introduction and also the way the two use the colour white in the garments, making the shade an expression of luxury.

Though their creative minds work in tandem, their backgrounds are different.

While Abu grew up in Mumbai, Sandeep is from Punjab. At a chance meeting in a friend’s place in 1986, they realised they had a lot in common.

Just three years later, they launched the label Jashan, but now their high-end couture comes under the label Abu-Sandeep.

They are here for the Pearls Infrastructure Delhi Couture Week that started Tuesday. The two have come to the capital with their collection after a gap of four years and this time they will celebrate their long innings in the fashion world by showcasing their new ensemble titled ‘Almost 24’.

‘Almost 24’ is a very high end couture line that has a vision for tomorrow.

Using their skills, the two have made sure the unique and exclusive collection blurs the lines between vintage and avant garde and the divisions between East and West and create a new blueprint for couture.

‘Timeless elegance meets here now in terms of rock chick glamour. It has all the ‘tehzeeb’ of the past tinged with a tongue in cheek nonchalance. It’s classical, meets contemporary. The way today’s diva deserves to dress.’

The range is divided into three different themes – ‘Abaan’ will take you through a journey of floral thread embroidery; ‘Sonaar’ is a homage to ‘Sonar Kella’ – the book and film by Satyajit Ray; and ‘Shabb’ is a gothic black form.

Their designs, especially chikankari work, is quite popular among their celebrity clients but the duo is hardly seen in the Page 3 circuit or at media forums.

‘We believe our work should speak for itself. And it’s also a personal lifestyle choice. Partying is for pleasure rather than networking. Page 3 is not our scene,’ said Sandeep.

Their creations have also been endorsed by Hollywood celebrities like costume designer Lindy Hemming, Dame Judi Dench as well as stylish French actress Sophie Marceau.

Talking about their design philosophy, Sandeep said: ‘We have always created for ourselves. There are no shortcuts. The finest fabrics, intricate embroideries, embellishments, finish – all are ingredients to creating a garment that goes beyond the ordinary.’

Sandeep also feels in their more than two decade long journey, the two have seen a sea change in the fashion industry and feel it has become more formalised in terms of qualifications, training, infrastructure and merchandising.

But at the same time, Sandeep feels the Indian fashion industry is still too small to warrant so many fashion weeks.

‘It dilutes both our branding as an industry as well as strains precious financial resources,’ said Sandeep.

After successfully hosting the first season of the candid talk show ‘The First Ladies’, the duo is discussing a few concepts for the small screen and will announce them shortly.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at shilpa.r@ians.in)

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