In 1982, Abu Jani, of the celebrated couture label Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla, was part of the creative process when acclaimed designer Xerxes Bhathena worked on Parveen Babi’s sparkling golden bodysuit for the song Jawani Janeman in the film Namak Halaal. Nearly 33 years later, that look is serving as inspiration for the designer duo’s upcoming collection for Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2015. The veteran designers will not only be making their LFW debut on August 25, but will also be opening the week with a grand off-site show. Quite appropriately christened “Jawani Janeman” their couture collection will be a “tribute to the ’70s and ’80s”, according to Khosla. Edited excerpts from a chat with Khosla on their inspiration and crammed fashion calendar:
Tell us about “Jawani Janeman” and what to expect from the show.
Lots of disco and drama. Apart from our favourite colours, white and beige, there will be splashes of gold and some pastels, with sequins and resham embroidery. Turning 50 has, ironically, got us looking at a younger audience. We’ve decided to reinvent the wheel and worked on a whole new, sexier and youthful silhouette. We’ve been working with the classics for too long, this is our attempt at having fun.
How will the retro theme play through the collection?
Apart from the clothes, we’ll be paying a musical tribute to the era as well. So, you can expect some Donna Summer, mixed with Funky Town and, of course, Jawani Janeman. We’ll also be going retro with the model line-up, so you will probably see some of our favourite models back on the ramp.
You’ve stayed away from the bi-annual fashion weeks. But you’ll be part of LFW and India Bridal Fashion Week in the course of a month.
We thought let’s go out there and grab everyone’s attention. People think you’re not relevant since you’re not seen around much. This is us saying, ‘Hey, we’re still here’. We’ve been working tirelessly on both collections since February. While the LFW collection is a more youthful take, the bridal collection will be very colourful and full-on couture glamour.
Any thoughts on a dream venue for your LFW off-site show?
Mukesh Mill in Colaba would be an absolute dream venue, but unfortunately we’re in the middle of Mumbai monsoons, so we’re looking at other options as well. We did a charity show many years ago at Famous Studios, so a film studio would also be an ideal set-up.
The story appeared in print with the headline For the Young in Gold