Monday, June 17 2019


Double the Style

Their style is dapper, their charm is magnetic; together they are a power duo truly living their life on the same page. Celebrated Indian designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna talk to Riddhima Nagpal about the thought process and dynamic partnership behind their designs.
They’ve taken their designing cue from basic art forms. Noted designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna say their fourteen years of creative work together have always been influenced by contemporary art; geometric lines and linear structures form the base of their designs. It is their sophisticated approach that unravels the hidden treasures of the avant-garde to create a contemporary look, which is subtle yet bold and also their signature style.
What is your design philosophy?
Rahul Khanna: We believe in clean, simple and sharp designs that are minimalistic in nature. The whole idea is to turn out a classy ensemble at the end, which should be elegant and wearable.
What’s the one thing that you strive for when you design a collection?
Rohit Gandhi: When designing a collection one has to keep in the mind the wearability factor. As designers, you have to design clothes that are timeless and can be worn season after season.
You are known to have interest in contemporary arts. What role does art play in influencing your designs?
Rohit Gandhi: Yes we also run an art gallery by the name of Palette and art is very close to our hearts and is also a great source of inspiration. Rahul Khanna: One can also say it is the same for fashion, as it is also an art coming together with craft when it comes to handling fabrics and draping them.
Regarding the approach to your collection year after year, how do you create something new while keeping its identity intact?
Rahul Khanna: At the end of the day as designer, you have to make garments that make the wearer feel good about themselves. Rohit Gandhi: If you can accomplish that – that is all that actually matters. A lot of thought goes into creating a collection and the end result is a great feeling.
As a duo, you joined hands in 1997 and started with menswear. What lead to this collaboration?
Rohit Gandhi: We met at NIFT fashion school. We had similar design sensibilities and our ideas matched. We decided to start our own prêt line and there has been looking back since!
So, after fourteen years of creative work together, are there any differences in your aesthetics?
Rahul Khanna: We divide our work and time when it comes to designing a collection. Rohit Gandhi: If there is no difference of opinion there would never be a positive outcome. We may be like-minded but we do criticise each other to bring out the best and make changes for the better.
Your collections celebrate style. To what extent does this extend to your real lives?
Rahul Khanna: A lot! Style is all about being effortless and we hope that reflects in our lives too. It is great to have a mix of this, and as long as you can balance your work life with your social life, it really is great!
Do you believe in the grand gesture or the beauty in the detail?
Rohit Gandhi: Beauty in the detail that leads to a grand gesture. Rahul Khanna: For me, simplicity always makes more of an impact rather than something that’s over the top.
What does luxury mean to you?
Rohit Gandhi: Luxury means to be comfortable, indulge in great holidays and basically be able and have the means to do something that you love to do.
What look would you suggest for the upcoming New Year’s party season and beyond?
Rahul Khanna: Well, the party season is here and you have to live it up. This New Year, invest in some sequin shift dresses and if you are confident enough to show some skin, then show off your back. The back is back and is here to stay!

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