When I saw Quirk Box for the first time at Lakme Fashion Week a couple of years ago, I was really excited by their wearable prints in pop colours and a touch of desi that made them the perfect addition to a young professional’s wardrobe. In the next season, they moved into geometric prints, played around with the theme of love, and introduced light fixtures and home accessories as an extension of the collection. You could see a growth in the label, with evolved construction and an innovative use of design.
Quirk Box is the two-person team Jayesh Sachdev and Rixi Bhatia, and Sachdev is quite a dapper man. If you follow him on Instagram, you will see that he is an avid traveller, an excitable beach bum and often uploads personal artwork that might not have anything to do with fashion or his brand. “I don’t think of myself as a fashion designer. I am an artist,” Sachdev states during our chat.
“Quirk Box is an art label. We sell art through fashion. The idea of Quirk Box started from the simple concept of providing art to the consumer, by changing the medium of a canvas to a fabric that stitched into a drape as a garment. We make functional art.” As a label, over seasons, Quirk Box has moved from prints to interesting embroidery. Their Love collection had beautiful raw silk bundis for men, with red geometric hearts embroidered on them — stately, yet fun and casual. With every passing year, the label is slowly being able to strike that important balance. Jayesh agrees that they are growing up. “Quirk Box has evolved since its inception. Both Rixi and I have evolved as artists and designers. Our creations are a reflection, often of ourselves, and this evolution of us as individuals reflects in the label, the art and the fashion. There is an inherent whimsical side to the art and concepts we present, but we are experimenting with silhouettes, fabrics, embroidery and surface texture now.”
This statement of being an art label was put down quite literally in Quirk Box’s latest collection, which they showed at the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort. The collection, titled This Is Not Fashion, opened with an AV which ended with a thought-provoking line — Be Art. The collection featured prints and embroidery, breezy and Parisienne, a perfect blend of light summer clothing, lounge wear and smart casuals. “I believe fashion in many ways can be art. The concept of the showcase this season was to establish, rather vocally, that Quirk Box is NOT a fashion label. That we are, in fact, an art label. Why is it that when you drape a piece of fabric on four pieces of wood and hang it in a gallery, only then is it referred to as “art”? I believe that when you drape a piece of fabric on your skin and bones, you become a moving gallery by yourself,” says Jayesh.
And what does he think of the Indian fashion industry? How has it changed and what has it become? “Indian fashion has become fast fashion. We have become consumer driven and our fashion scene has never been more experimental. We are well travelled now and derive influences from international fashion more so now than before. This is an exciting time for creative fashion designers.” Are there any popular trends that he is really enjoying? “Print on print, anti-fit kurta shirts and vintage jewellery with western wear. I hate it when people try to match their accessories to their clothes.”