Design house Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla celebrates its 35th anniversary with a film
The fashion film features models and actors as gypsies and actress Nora Fatehi as a sorceress walking towards light.
After expressing themselves with fashion, art, and architecture, designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla (AJSK) has now evolved to articulate their artistry through filmmaking. Into the Light, a film by AJSK and wedding photographer Joseph Radhik, is fantasy on a reel. Since last year, AJSK has been captivated by the possibility of creating a film that goes far beyond fashion. Much before Into the Light became reality, Sandeep had written to Joseph about the idea, knowing in his heart that only Joseph and the duo could bring this dream to fruition. This visual work of art is the debut production of the duo’s new venture, La Filmi Compania. The fashion film features models and actors as gypsies and actress Nora Fatehi as a sorceress walking towards light. This venture marks their 35th brand anniversary and like always, they are celebrating by doing something new. Indulge chats up with Sandeep Khosla on their new venture and the brand’s journey in the fashion world.
Tell us about Into the Light.
The film was shot at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio with 29 actors over two days. It fuses couture with the ethereal charm of magic in black and white mode. The film showcases actress Nora Fatehi as the sorceress leading the tribe of gypsies into the moonlight. Their walk towards the illuminated satellite symbolises beauty, freedom, and an extreme love for life. The idea for Into the Light came to us last year during the lockdown. We wanted the concept to be different from any other fashion film so we chose gypsies travelling towards the light as the subject.
What was your experience working with Nora Fatehi?
Working with Nora was amazing. I rang up Nora to talk about the concept of the film and what she felt about it. We had done a shoot with Nora earlier. She is an outsider but has created a place for herself in the industry on her own. We wanted someone who can move beautifully and she moves stunningly. Nora’s outfit has a very bold look: a choli with a plunging neckline and a skirt with a thigh high slit. Nora owns her body and I feel she is the new Zeenat Aman. Zeenat Aman never looked vulgar in anything. Nora, too has the same quality. The skirt she is wearing was supposed to be a traditional one. But in the middle of shooting, we decided to do a slit on one side as it was looking very conventional otherwise.
Tell us about the collections shown in the film.
The four-act film features collections Greta, Ajrak, and Mandala. The massive collection of 60 garments features pastels to bright earthy colours, jewel tones, and pristine whites. Every garment is an ode to our artistic fantasies. Like always, the collections have lots of embroidery, chikankari, zardozi and beadwork. Along with the clothes, we have also designed the film’s set.
For how long were you working on the collections?
We started working on the collections four months ago but the ideation had started last year. This time, we wanted our collections to be a notch higher than they usually are.
From where did you source the fabrics for Greta, Ajrak and Mandala?
Materials were sourced from Gujarat, Rajasthan and all over India. We always play with pure fabrics. There is khadi and a lot of organza in the collections.
You have been in the industry for 35 years. How has your journey been?
Over 35 years, we’ve had lots of high points and some low points too. We are self-financed so whatever money we’d make, we’d invest in making more clothes. It’s only been 10 years now that we are looking into the business side of it as well. During this three-decade-long journey, we also authored three books. We never shied away from doing expensive things and never thought of who our end consumers were. Affordability was never our priority. Our priority was to make beautiful outfits. Our thinking is, if you make something beautiful, it will get a buyer no matter what it costs.
Should we expect full-fledged feature films from your new production house La Filmi Compania?
I love films and with OTT platforms, we are getting to watch new content like Paatal Lok and Rashmi Rocket starring so many talented new actors. Now there’s perfection in imperfection, unlike earlier when movies were all about perfection. I have started writing a few ideas for production, but nothing right now. Possibly in the next two years, we might do something for the OTT platform.
Lastly, what’s your dream project?
There are lots of dream projects. One of them is to have our own line of perfumes, accessories, and handbags.