The label KHANDOMA may not ring a bell for many mostly because the designer, Pema Khando, has been keeping herself cocooned in her own world and for some reasons untold she has been straying far from all the limelight and attention she very much deserves. But those who have seen her work or worn her design cannot stop revering about her.
Pema is such a designer who is very particular about what she wants and is a perfectionist in shaping her ideas into wearable work of art. Working especially with Pan-Asian inspiration, her clothes are very refreshing and original. When I first saw her designs I couldn’t help but ask if it was really made by a local designer – it had such fine finishing, something I hadn’t seen anywhere else in the country. It was like every jacket or dress had their individuality or a personal story to tell. And one such creation is what always raised my curiosity about its invention – her Military Cascade Jacket. “It was a mere co-incidence,” shared Pema. I knew it. I knew there was something extraordinary about that jacket. “Once when I was working on a military jacket that was on a dummy and looking at it from a distance, my tailor comes and tries this side-cascaded skirt on the same dummy below the jacket. And I thought, ‘that looks interesting!’” She asked her tailor to have the cascade in front and stitch the jacket and the skirt together to which he had asked, “Are you sure? Should I really stitch them together?” She was more than sure, Mr Tailor. I can now imagine the tailor making the jacket a million times with a smile on his face knowing how it all happened.
Pema is a graduate of fashion designing from Pearl Academy of Fashion which also happens to involve a fateful co-incidence. When trying to get one of the limited seats into the academy her true passion for the creativity saved one for her. “Fashion is not two plus two equals four. It’s pure art. I always used to sketch while pursuing my B.A in Shimla and those sketches added a dose of belief in the faculty members. I was selected right after.”
|Tweed Kimono Jacket which was one of her final designs from her recent fall collection|
Although Pema is not a loyal follower of any emerging trend, she makes it a point to keep her designs relatable to the present day women. But the most important question of all during the making of a new collection is whether ‘she’ would wear them or not? With a smart sense of dressing, I think that question is one of the main reasons behind the success of her designs. Moreover, all of the clothes from KHANDOMA have few things in common: minimalism, cut, understated chic and contemporary Asian inspiration. These four elements always adhere to Pema’s mind which she takes great pride in. And embellishments and hyper creativity are two alien words for Pema. “I don’t believe in super-creativity. It’s not my style. I think when people cross that fine line the creativity turns into trash and looks tacky.”
Pema has been very busy finishing her Spring/Summer Collection lately which will be out very soon at Pipalbot Gallery, Baber Mahal Revisited where her clothes are displayed exclusively.
But KHANDOMA is not the only label Pema owns and designs for. She has another label named Silk Root Collection that concentrates more on older age group where the clothes possess a wee stronger Himalayan designs and are more conventional and less trendy. They are only available at exclusive stores at New York.
Photos: DLM Photography