Focusing on sumptuous fabrics, the apparel is simple yet luxurious
March 1, 2021: With the designer duo belonging to the magical state of Rajasthan, Ankur and Priyanka Modi of AMPM have taken inspiration comes from the land of majestic palaces, rugged forts, golden sand and a scorching sun for its Spring Summer 2021 collection.
Called Aārthai, the name is a culmination of two words - ‘art’ a recurring source of inspiration and ‘athai,’a Marwari origin word meaning ‘here’. Aārthai simply means ‘art lies here’.
The collection takes cues from the vibrant artistic heritage of the royal state. There are two key inspiration stories followed throughout the season, the art of Pichwai and of the Amer Fort in Jaipur. While Pichwai is characterized by its beautiful motifs from mythological tales, the Amer Fort is known for its intricately decorated doors, ceilings and archways.
“Being a Marwari myself, I’ve experienced Rajasthan in many different ways throughout my life. I have travelled there, lived there, been schooled there, but the one thing that’s remained a constant has been my sense of awe at the sheer width and variation of art, craft, topography and culture that this desert land has to offer,” says Priyanka Modi.
The traditionally busy artform of Pichwai is reimagined in a unique minimal rendition for the collection. Motifs for the summer range feature details from fabled stepwells and jharokha laden havelis.
Through Aārthai, art and architecture transcend into a modern, more abstract realization. The strokes are free and intuitive but strike a nuanced balance, forming a very contemporary portrait of Rajasthan.
Cowled jackets and tunics play canvas to dreamy prints. The signature AMPM pre-draped saree is heightened by intricate surface design. Each motif is painstakingly hand drawn and stylized to have a life of its own. The playful monkeys, majestic horses, lush banana leaves and art inspired from patterned floors and temple facades are drawn in hues of pearl ivory, purple, burgundy and sage.
“So many times over nearly two decades, I’ve thought of exploring Rajasthan. And every single time I was overwhelmed by the number of possibilities it presented and the fact that I’d have to whittle it down to fit into a collection. So I kept pushing it into the future. For most of us, it took an unforeseen global event to realize that we cannot wait for a perfect time for things to happen; and how out of control we truly are of our own lives. I had seen Jai Khanna’s work at his solo show some time ago and saw how beautifully he had taken a traditionally busy and colorful artform, and depicted it so minimally, so emotively. That spark of inspiration came right there,” explains Ms. Modi.
The collection features summer shirts, godet palazzos and soft drapery that has now become a house signature. Soft chanderis and sumptuous silks, are punctuated by silk satin embroidery, applique dori work and gold faux leather embossing.
Gold-plated coiled brooches, plush buttons and beautiful branch fasteners add a luxe element. The classic corset belts and shoes are also amplified with exotic charms and figurines.