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Samyukta Nair, Abraham & Thakore, and Gunjan Gupta, On Their Latest Collab 'Elements'!

Clove's latest collaboration with Abraham & Thakore and Ikkis titled 'Elements', features a capsule collection of 12 garments by Abraham & Thakore that draw inspiration from Gunjan Gupta’s IKKIS. The collaboration celebrates India in a global context - the give and take between what’s old and new, a marriage of form and functionality while being deeply embedded in Indian craft traditions. 

The IKKIs range by designer Gunjan Gupta features kulhads (chai glasses), diyas (lamps) as well as baltis (buckets) with a modern upgrade transforming them into a playfully crafted collection of champagne glasses, vases, platters and copper handled candle holders. These 21 pieces for modern living are handcrafted using terracotta, copper, marble and brass.

Elements is a collaboration built on the foundation of a design philosophy and has been expressed using different mediums including textile traditions and handcrafted products. With a modern, contemporary and luxurious feel, this collaboration is aimed at shifting the global standpoint on Indian design. What comes through is a modern Indian design aesthetic. The ideology behind the collection was to showcase the IKKIS idea of 21st century India- contemporary and global yet full of cultural values- to build global respect for Indian craftsmanship. Abraham & Thakore were the designers who fit perfectly to bring to life the idea. The designer duo has been working with textile industry of India for decades to create pieces that are minimal, functional and contemporary.

A special festive line of the collection will also be showcased in hues of red, salmon pink, taupe and indigo to celebrate the festive season in India. The collection will be available for a limited period during this festive season at Clove, Mumbai.

We caught up with the creative geniuses behind the modern and contemporary three-way collaboration.

Samyukta Nair, Founder Clove The Store:

1) What makes the collection 'Elements' so special?

‘Elements’ is a collaboration built on the foundation of a simple design philosophy and investigating a similar mindset through different mediums of expressions. Whether expressed in textile traditions of Abraham & Thakore or handcrafted elevated product line of IKKIS, what comes through is a unified modern Indian design aesthetic - one that prides itself on being distinctively Indian, focused on our craft traditions, yet versatile enough to be enjoyed by a global citizen of the world.

2) Your favourite pieces from the collection and why?

It would be hard to choose one piece, but I love that the collection as a whole, speaks a unified language – one that is proud to be inherently Indian yet global in its outlook.

3) Tell us the ideology behind starting a fashion and lifestyle boutique?

Clove connects my upbringing in hospitality with my two loves: Design and India. Imagined as a home it showcases my favourites across fashion, design and craft from India. The edit was aimed at appealing to a diverse set - the local, the gifter, the traveller and the collector. In being classic and eclectic, whimsical yet purposeful Clove showcases my viewpoint on Indian design - one filled with pride for its talent, in a space to call home.

4) What is your inspiration behind the latest collection?

ECHO, our easy festive edit, is an attempt to revive our flocking love of Indian textile techniques with a symphony of colours while paying homage to a contemporary twist on tradition. It is our attempt to resonate with timeless traditions of India's heritage and contemporary eclecticism while striking a balance between the old and new.

5) What is the most valuable piece of art you own?

My mother is an art collector so I have been privileged to have access to her collection and that to me is invaluable. If I had to choose, I would choose my collection of Nalini Malini works from her Alice and Wonderland series as it was the first work I acquired on my own.

6) Who are your favourite home decor designers and why?

I love Andre FU, Kit Kemp and of course my mother Madhu Nair, who has over the years beautifully created the magical world of The Leela across all their hotels.

7) A piece of advice you'd like to give someone who is re-doing the interiors of their home?

I would always recommend going with a design that is more timeless rather than drawing from trends. A home has to be lived in, it needs to be functional and quiet understated design always works well as a backdrop to beautiful pieces of furniture or art that can be used as accents and changed periodically.

8) What does luxury mean to you?

Luxury is how you spend every day, it’s not so much about what you own and wear but more so got to do with how you spend your time, who you choose to spend it with and the experiences you have.

Abraham & Thakore, Designers:

1) Tell us about your experience with a Clove to develop a limited-edition line?

It has been great working with Clove, both in terms of their understanding of the design philosophy behind the collection and the ease and professionalism with which everything was handled.

2) What makes this line special to you?

The idea of using the traditional kurta and tweaking it into different silhouettes - and using simple block printing to create graphic silhouettes.

3) What is your source of inspiration?

The Indian Tee Shirt & the Kali Kurta.

4) Tell us about the silhouettes we can expect to find in the collection?

Various shapes but all contemporary, easy to wear versions based on the Kali Kurta.

5) Your favourite piece from the collection, and why?

The Hoodie Kurta - A Fun Take ...

6) What does luxury mean to you?

The hand-done and handcrafted in limited numbers.

7) What defines your personal style?

Minimalism; less is more ...

8) The biggest fashion trend this festive season?

Loose and Long ...

Gunjan Gupta, Founder, Ikkis:

1) Your favourite pieces from the collection and why?

I love the Khullar and the chai stem glass as they take a very iconic and basic element from the streets of India and elevate them into luxury tableware elements in copper and brass for the home.

2) What is your inspiration behind the latest collection?

It’s a collection of 21 iconic Indian objects like the Chakla Belan/ Balti / Patila reimagined for contemporary living in an international context.

3) What is the most valuable piece of art you own?

I love contemporary arts & crafts and am currently in love with a beautiful paperwork titled ‘shunya’ by Nepalese artist Yudhisthir Mahajan and a set of miniature pots with the same title by Indian mastercraftsman Om Prakash Galav. 4) Who are your favourite home decor designers and why?

I love an eclectic mix of objects from vintage to contemporary and everything that comes in between from across the world. I adore Milan based ceramic company Bitossi for their mix of traditional and contemporary ceramics / Seletti for its tongue in cheek humour / Dutch design brand Droog / Slovenian designer Lara Bohinc for her Jeweled table accents. 5) A piece of advice you'd like to give someone who is re-doing the interiors of their home?

Mix it up and create paradoxes between old and new, traditional and modern, craft and technology and most importantly between precious and everyday materials.

We can't wait to get out hands on these modern Indian pieces to decorate our humble adobe. Can you?


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