July 27, 2019 Asmita Aggarwal

Goodwill Hunting

A precious jewellery line, stores in Delhi and Mumbai, and a Peacock Foundation that will give scholarships to the poor, Shane and Falguni are ready to ace the game!

By Asmita Aggarwal

He reminds you of that shy boy in the class, always the backbencher has a lot to say but always refrains, giving his ‘other half’ the chance to stay in the spotlight. Shane Peacock is one of those. A reticent Christian married to a vibrant Gujarati, who loves dressing up, complete with “big shoulders even for a movie” while the former keeps it casual. Undoubtedly, opposites make the best pair, but despite their dissimilarities, they do have one thing in common— the pursuit of excellence. Therefore, it is not surprising that they have done nine seasons of both Paris Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.

Completing 15 years in the fashion sphere Shane, is now looking at new territories to conquer, a precious jewellery line is in the offing and talks are on as they believe “India is a jewellery market and we want to offer a complete look to the bride”. A new store in Mumbai’s art district Kala Ghoda by end of the month is on the cards, plus one more store in Delhi, by the end of the year. The Peacock magazine launched last year will hit the stands next month, so the duo is on a roll. What would you attribute the success of the couple to? Good thinking, right choices or sheer luck? Maybe it is a combination of all three.

Beyonce is on their speed dial, Paris Hilton has been on their front rows and Nicki Minaj swears by their feathers, making them the favourite among musicians. “Our clothes have rock and roll glamour, and I think they like us because we have that edginess, which is inherent in our DNA,” says Shane. Beyonce wore a bodysuit designed by them for Isha Ambani’s wedding, and Shane admits it is easier working with international celebrities because “they listen to us despite their clout and stature”.

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The Peacocks were clear when they forayed the bridal market, they will not dress the bride, which they hope to change by next year. Rather they wanted to concentrate on bridesmaids, extended family, and friends. So the marriage was out, they looked at cocktails, mehndi, sangeet, reception where you could be experimental and wear a gold gown that had lehenga-esque trimmings. “A lot of journalists ask us what do women want? I have only one answer. Women want to look good. Period. Would you like to wear something new and not get a compliment? No one likes to go unnoticed. We ensure that when you walk into a party you look like a million bucks,” he smiles.

Shane confesses they evolved backwards; they started from India and sizzled in the West getting loyal fans, then one day a business associate told them, you must go back to your roots and establish something solid there. And that’s just what they did, hence the expansion plans. “London Fashion Week helped us transform from resort wear designers to edgy gurus who understood fabrics and ingenuity. New York taught how to be subtle and work red carpet glamour. Music and rock bands have always been a big inspiration for us, whether it is their stage performances or the MET gala,” he says.

This is the second time the Peacocks are showing at the India Couture Week, they confess Indian couture is mostly bridal with Bollywood and cricket being the engines for this race to be the best dressed, for the finish line. “Every time we travel Falguni takes lots of pictures on her phone and tries to capture small things that she finds she can treasure. These serve as an inspiration like it did for this collection. So we took out all the pictures she had taken of Jaipur and made a moodboard. Amer Fort and City Palace and its 16th-century Rajput magnificence served as the melody for our pieces,” he explains.

The signature look by the duo revolves around surface ornamentation, and mostly it is executed on fine silk, hoping to move away from clichés and set the tone with their laborious process of detailing. “If you look at the Chanel tweed jacket, every year there is a new ring to it, but the core remains what Coco did almost a hundred years ago. Same way feathers, sequins, and rock chic will remain our fulcrum and those who are saying that trousseaus are becoming less ornate they are totally wrong. Women want larger-than-life, big dream weddings where everything is captured on social media,” he says. The look for this season is lighter hues as Shane says it goes with the sun-kissed Indian complexion.

Plain speaking Shane also reiterates, the business of show stopper must change in India, and it should just be about the clothes. “When we show in London or New York, Paris Hilton would sit on the front row, only in India she walked for us. So you can see the difference in attitudes. Also, the media needs to ask us interesting questions rather than just ‘what is your inspiration and what are the colours you have used and why? They must try and absorb the show and learn to make their own conclusions,” he adds.

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 Interestingly, they have also introduced a menswear line and he believes men are the latest “victims” who want the 15 minutes of fame, with the whole selfie craze. When they start with the first selfie there are no mad outfits, by the 30th selfie the “new” man is ready to wear a red floral shirt with gotta to get maximum likes. “So I find this whole conversation about men getting experimental with pink a little overrated. Instagram is the new driving force and a major source of entertainment. It governs your mood for the day depending on how many ‘thumbs up’ you have attained,” he adds.

Shane is clear the brand extensions which include bags or perfumes don’t interest him as a woman who buys luxury would go for a branded ‘Made in Italy’ label. “We are not looking at making leather goods or even perfumes as it is tough to beat the Italians and French in what they are masters of,” he admits.

But what he has done will tug at your heartstrings. He started The Peacock Foundation, which will offer scholarships to students who want to work in fashion and also help them put up a show. “This is our attempt to give back to the world that gave us so much,” adds Shane.

At the duo’s outing in Delhi, the front row was buzzing with two luscious dreamboats—- chotte nawab Ibrahim Ali Khan dressed in Jeremy Scott’s Moschino and the man with Patrick Dempsey-esque tresses Kartik Aryan in ”strategically” torn jeans (from the knees). They watched, cheered and applauded the very confident pint-sized fireball Sara Ali Khan walk the ramp with enormous grace.

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