Sharp tailored edges juxtaposed with the classics: cotton twill, tulle and net. Such is the tenor of Ikshit Pande’s Quod Erat Demonstrandum. His monochromatic seams and darts fuse the polar opposites of formal menswear and street style together creating experimental couture for the 21st century woman; one who is constantly on the lookout for redefining her identity as she manoeuvres through the complexities of life. The debut collection also brims with the possibility of being labelled as avant-garde although Ikshit adds, 'There is no conscious effort on my part to be it or associate with any particular kind of movement. However, what there is, is a conscious effort to be radically new, to be relevant to the times and always be forward looking. We try to find aspects in things that may be very much in front of the eyes but have a potential to be worked upon or highlighted to stand out.'
Born and brought up in the foothills of the Himalayas, the dressmaker worked in advertising and brand communications for eight years before he gave everything up and applied to Parsons for a future in design. He constantly draws insight from his childhood and nature has found a permanent spot as a part of his design sensibilities. His collection that had a smashing debut at the New York Fashion Week in 2019 draws inspiration from birds and their wings. The contrasting image of fragility and strength form the basis for his exaggerated silhouettes, which can easily be noted in the layers and layers of tulle and the modernized version of the Renaissance sleeves. He further elaborates, 'The upcoming collection borrows from witches and witchcraft. I would say nature is the background I play in, but in the end, there is always a molding of the main inspiration into a personality figure. So not just birds but figures and creators that are like birds. Not just witches but this entity that is heavily like a witch, but perhaps not a witch in the typical sense.'
He believes while his sensibility is rooted in nature, it is equally vital for his designs to be relevant to the contemporary pulse. Apart from nature, the designer also finds inspiration in people on the streets, architecture and different shapes and objects. The first thing that strikes one about the label is its fairly peculiar name. Quod Erat Demonstrandum is a Latin term usually associated with science and logic. Ikshit rather tells me it has more to do with his personal philosophy. He explains, 'It is how I think and how my brain processes the surroundings in black and white and in overall symmetry and alignment than anything else. This in turn reflects in the brand we’re trying to shape. There is an obsessive eye to detail, to the finish, to this aesthetic with elements of repetition and other perhaps very ‘science and logic’ like code if observed from a distance.' His earnest response unravels what he thinks about his craft. He defines dressmaking as the coming together of varied proportions, shapes and techniques. ‘Cosmic geometry’ is what he calls it.
This article was initially published in our June Bookazine.
Text Unnati Saini