Suhani Parekh matches her minimalist aesthetic with Amit Aggarwal’s Patolas at the grand finale, as Aprajita Toor elevates his ubiquitous brocades with her custom-made wonders!
By Asmita Aggarwal
Behind the pomp and show of the AIFW, there were two quiet warriors, who added a bit of sparkle to the grand finale. The first one was the Elleaward winner Suhani Parekh of Misho, a new-age jewellery label and the other, Aprajita Toor, who designs custom-made shoes. The duo worked with Amit Aggarwal to bring to fruition his vision, by training the eye to see what is sometimes nebulous.
Suhani studied fine arts from the Goldsmiths University, UK but it was her first exposure to fashion, in France, where she moved when she was 16, that made her love its minimalist aspects. From savouring Alexander McQueen’s retrospective at the Victoria & Albert Museum to seeing Tunisian-born couturier Azzedine Alaia’s body sculpting silhouettes, while studying, she learnt that the lines often blur between the many disciplines.
Trained as a sculptor, she moved back to Mumbai and starting working with the famed architect Ashiesh Shah, when she was intrigued by the adroitness of jewellery. The body is much like a space, in architecture that needs to be designed so the same principles apply, you just need to see it as micro rather than macro. “I named my label Misho, a Japanese technique of making bonsai, where a seed becomes a tree, it kind of says what I hope to achieve. I met Amit in Paris, for Rahul Mishra’s show and that’s when we decided to work together,” she adds.
Suhani does not sketch, thinks 3D and rather makes prototypes and sees what works in sterling silver, which she believes has just the right softness to bend it into beautiful shapes, unlike gold which needs a bit of dilution to shine. “Plus, I am Gujarati, so I have grown up with a lot of traditional family silver; there was a deeper connection, with this metal,” she admits.
In ten ‘sleepless’ days, Suhani created 35 looks, and if you look closely the ear cuffs seem as if they have pierced the ears, but that’s just an illusion, or even the hoops, which have an ear cuff feel to them have been constructed intuitively, making most of the pieces heavily engineered. The brief was contemporary with tribal influences, but nothing was over-the-top, rather it was statement-y. “I believe women today want to own one piece that has a voice, rather than 500 which don’t mean anything, as for me jewellery marks a moment in your life and it is that special moment that you want to cherish,” she smiles.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and in Aprajita Toor’s case this adage seems to fit in perfectly! She, by her own admission says that her feet were too large, making it impossible for her to find shoes that fit, so she started designing her own.
Even though she doesn’t come from a fashion background, as she studied to be a jewellery technologist and then went on to do her MBA in marketing, she has blended in perfectly. “I started my label in 2012, and we look at footwear through a fresh pair of eyes…so our Kolhapuris come with pencil heels just like our juttis. Somewhere I felt why can’t our traditional footwear meet a modern woman’s demands?” she asks. Aprajita made 25 pairs in three days for Amit, where the heels were constructed using acrylic except for the gold ribbon that was added to keep it in continuation of Amit’s storyline.
And the story that Amit tried to tell through his Patolas and brocades was energising, as his technique was unquestionable and thought process unique, paying homage to mother earth and its bounties. The set looked as if you have entered into a land where the unknown beckons you, complete with roots of thousands of years old trees hanging and the sounds of birds chirping, revved up by the man-made pathways.