Ankur and Priyanka Modi have propelled their label AM:PM, which focuses on wearability, comfort and style. Alongside the generic material, they also use handicraft, yet ensure that their garments are contemporary.The designer duo’s designs cater to women who are a blend of traditional and ultra modern values.
Ankur and Priyanka have accentuated the femininity of the modern woman, marrying classic details with contemporary aesthetics.
The brand is favorited by divas, such as, Madhuri Dixit, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Shilpa Shetty, Sridevi, Hema Malini and Karisma Kapoor.
The two speak exclusively with Salon India about their pret label, designs and more.
How has the journey been so far?
We started AM:PM 12 years ago, as a luxury prêt label and we have consciously retained that in our DNA. At the time, fashion on the runway and in real time, was a stark dichotomy of traditional Indian or Western wear. We realised, there was a demand for clothes that were not limited to either. Designing collections to marry classic details with contemporary aesthetics that celebrate femininity, that’s the cornerstone of our work.
How has the fashion industry evolved in India, since the time you started?
Until some years ago, Indian women were dictated by an implicit convention. They were dressing according to society’s expectation of them. Women, today, are out there working, travelling and consuming the newest trends off international runways on their phones. Thanks to the world become flatter, fashion is now so much more democratic; it is sought, bought and worn more to express oneself. The biggest change is the mind-shift. The modern Indian woman is dressing her personality. As designers we’re expected to create the ‘future forward’ and with that premise, we’re also constantly evolving to meet our customer’s preferences.
What all goes into your research?
We are consistently inspired by architecture and craft. ‘Siyah’ our Fall/Winter 2015 collection for example, is deeply influenced by Islamic craft and architecture. We’ve blended a lot of artwork taken from this beautiful inlay work, which is done on sheesham in the remote Hoshiarpur of Punjab, and used it along with intricate jaali patterns from the Mughal palaces.
Ramp versus Bollywood styling – How it’s different from each other. Where is there more scope for experiment?
The fashion industry of India has seen a boom and gained popularity in the world as a fashion centric nation. The diverse dressing style has given Indian fashion designers ample scope of creativity. While a fashion show is the best way to showcase your creativity with the fashion enthusiasts, with Bollywood styling you get to extend your creativity and envision a look for a character. No doubt, Bollywood holds the real influence when it comes to fashion because consumers these days relate best to the characters in a film; clothes on models walking down the ramp seem unwearable and impractical. However, wearability has always been of paramount importance to us, which is why our core aesthetic at AM:PM has always been to pair tradition and modernity with classic and fluid silhouettes. We ensure that our runway pieces are translated into wearable outfits for our consumers who besides style, are also looking for comfort and versatility in their everyday wardrobe.
How important is hair and make-up in the overall look in runway shows?
Hair and make-up is just as important. It’s almost like the whole look is a design, the wardrobe, hair and make-up together and it is the hair and make-up artists who show off the designer’s work as its best.
What all are the major beauty trends that you have witnessed in the past few years?
Minimalistic make-up with bold and dramatic eyes.
How do you plan the beauty look of your shows? Who’s your favourite hair and make-up artist?
We are all aware that the transformative power of hair and make-up is undeniable and we give equal importance to that. We usually prefer a clean look and tucked away hair with a statement accessory to complete the look. We gave a contemporary upgrade to the maang tikka at our A/W ’15 collection. showcase. Instead of crafting it in gold and making the maang tikka look traditional, we made it in silver to make it look more like a statement piece.
Do you ever plan to be involved in the cosmetic and hair industry of India?
It is important to believe in what you set out to do and keep a dogged focus on that. It has also led us to realising the expandability quotient of the brand that it can venture
into so many more verticals of fashion and lifestyle. Going forward it would probably be the most crucial asset we posses. We’ve also constantly toed the line between creativity and commerce. Even though designing will always be our passion, growing the label simultaneously, is a responsibility we take very seriously. We feel that attitude has kept us in good stead and the label has seen a steady stream of growth over the years without compromising on any of its brand promises.