Jodi de Vivre

242 Jodi de Vivre

Okay, so I have been hoarding this feature (in my brain) for the longest time now, I have even forgotten when I discovered JODI – which was quite sometime before I e-mailed them back in June! Anyway, they replied to me, last month and I took ages to put this piece together. Idjit! This interview feature is similar to the ones I have covered before (on my blog, of course), but also sorta different. Same, same but different – if you will, like is the underlying theme of this label! The feature reads shorter (yes, you can smile), and without any further ado, I present to you –

When did JODI officially go live, online? Can you tell me about the name?

“We went live, last year on the 25th of July on indiacircus.com. JODI (जोड़ी) is a Hindi word, and it means ‘pair’. Because we are the two (Karuna Laungani and Gauri Verma) who started this brand, it seemed like an apt name. Also, both of us have a twin sibling. And we work best as a pair, whether it is our personal relationship with our own twin siblings or our professional relationship with each other. We think of JODI as the meeting of two ideas, two visions coming together to do something we love and are passionate about.”

A little bit about each of you, individually? I’ve been following your work, Karuna for a bit now, and I’m a fan. Gauri, from what I’ve read – you’re a graphic designer, too and I really, really like how you use colours.

KARUNA: “I started my career with ELLE (India), and was Fashion Editor there. After I quit the magazine, I continued to take up freelance projects (fashion styling). I styled Sonam Kapoor in the movies, Khoobsurat and Dolly ki Doli. I also take up a lot of work for print campaigns, and I am currently styling the ‘Gen Next’ shows for Lakmé Fashion Week.

GAURI: “I studied at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) in Delhi, and worked as a fashion stylist with ELLE (India), too. That’s where we met each other (2012). I am also a freelance graphic designer and stylist. I work with various brands styling print shoots, television commercials, etc.”

Do you come up with the designs by yourselves, or work with artisans to create patterns since the woodblock printing is undertaken by them?

We start with designing our prints since we are a brand that focuses on prints. Our aim is to steer clear from the typical motifs used in block printing. We first start by sketching out our ideas on paper. We design all our prints. We then share it with the block-maker, who makes a technical sketch of our design so that it can be transformed into a block. Following that, we work very closely with the printer and use one or various blocks to create a print. This is the fun part as we can mix and match various blocks to come up with interesting designs. The possibilities are endless. This is also something that is not possible when it comes to digital printing.

Can you tell me more about each collection? (I notice that you guys name collections after the model wearing the clothes, which is interesting… The pieces of clothing from the Azra collection form some of my favourites.)

“For our current collection, we wanted to create easy yet trendy pieces… You will see motifs like pineapples, cats and paper kites on shift dresses, culottes, pleated dresses and skirts, etc. Our collection has a mix of various silhouettes. So there is something for everyone whether you are 18 or 50 years old.”

Is there a story behind the use of patterns placed as frames for the clothing shots?

“We are a brand that loves colour, and our mood is eclectic and vibrant. We want to be unique, and stand out and be clear as with regards to our brand identity. Like we told you, prints are our forte so it makes sense that we use colour and print to bring out the vividness in the photographs. (Our visual content has been designed to show you what inspired each piece. Prints, art, music, movies, graphics – things that inspired us to create a certain piece, etc.)”

{ What are my thoughts? Well, I am drawn to their beautiful + colourful patterns and prints; also, I find the twin factor most intriguing. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? Of all the collections, I like AZRA – and, Azra Bhagat (the model) does the clothes justice as does the photographer who took her pictures. Those pineapple prints are everything! Them peacock patterns, too. (Out of the clothes, I really like the masculine button-down shirts, pleated skirts and throw-over jackets, etc.) Ooh, and Pune is where their production unit and studio is at, though the block printing happens in Ahmedabad and Jaipur. I think it would be an experience to accompany them on one of their travels to learn more about woodblock printing; or even perhaps, to take a tour of their production unit. (And finally! Okay, so while their cause is just, I do think the clothes are expensive; though I would like to order a JODI something at some point, perhaps at a time when I am more financially stable.) }

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes, and pictures by Anish Sarai

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