Designers usually look to exotic countries or travels for inspiration, you’ve done this but in a unique way- focusing on the explorer. Could you tell us more about this?
Tina: The idea actually came to us when we were watching one of Bear Grylls' show on Discovery Channel. It was really interesting to see how they were surviving in the wilderness with almost no tools. It led us to think about how scientists and researchers went on expeditions, to lesser known places and explored incredible things in harsh conditions.
We took references from camp sites, mountaineers, archeologists and the uneven lines and textures you find on rocks and sediments. Graphic details like those found on geological diagrams were translated into panels, embroidery and prints. We paired minimal frills with plain textures to reflect different terrains. An athletic inspired silhouette was also an important reference for the collection. The colours we used are a mix of subtle earthy tones with primary and darker colours.
Who is the Explorer as a woman?
Tina: She is alive, adventurous, curious, ambitious and fearless. We are all explorers in some way or the other, always curious to discover and learn new things.
How has being from India and the Indian aesthetic influenced your design philosophy?
Nikita: India is such a colourful and exciting place. People are not afraid to wear bold colours in their daily lives. What really inspires us is when we see people on the street wearing interesting colour and print combinations. These always stun us because they are not even trying to make a fashion statement- it’s totally normal for them. There are so many interesting proportions in traditional Indian silhouettes. The variety in length, volume, drape and layering inspire us a lot.
What is your process when looking at fabrics and materials? These are obviously very important for an explorer, did you do anything differently because of this?
Nikita: For us, our design process always starts with research. Once we have established the theme for the season, we begin exploring the colours, textures, silhouettes, fabrics and details from reference images and videos. The explorer theme made us think about using different textures. We used fabrics like wool crepes and melton wools in rich colours paired with softer silks, lurex and cotton jerseys. We also played a lot with the placement of pleats in unexpected places like on the hem of a skirt or as cuffs on the sleeves. We did some graphic embroidery patterns that was inspired by the geological diagrams. When we choose our fabrics, we always think about the fall, comfort and the look we want to achieve for the final garment.