Text by Shirin Mehta. Photographs by Mallika Chandra
Winner of NEXA presents ‘The Spotlight’ at FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week, Two Point Two Studio by designer Anvita Sharma clearly resonated with NEXA’s core values – Explore, Embrace, Rebel – as well as their tag line “Create and Inspire”. Rebellion has indeed been the guiding force behind the maverick designer Anvita Sharma’s brand, whose raison d’être clearly is to represent more than just fashion and glamour – in fact, her philosophy and sensibilities celebrate individuality and gender neutrality. Sharma embraces all that is beyond the binary while supporting the LGBTQIA+ community very visibly in her work. “Two Point Two as a brand is agender and aims to create a third identity which stands for neither of the binaries and yet for both”, states the label’s website. Besides, the oversized clothing eliminates differences of size, shape and gender, resulting in an inclusivity that few brands in the fashion sphere are party to: “Because the things that unite us are greater than our differences”, believes their creator.
The genderless body-inclusive label’s collection showcased at FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week this season, ‘Behind Closed Doors’, was “an ode to faith, hope, compassion, solidarity, camaraderie and above all love”, tapping into post-pandemic optimism and positivity. Organic textiles created with fibres of rose petals, oranges, lotuses as also organic cotton and recycled taffeta reflected Sharma’s passion for sustainability. The brand has always upcycled textile leftovers in their embroideries, an early nod to declaring love for the planet. Eschewing the runway and choosing instead to present the collection at ‘The Atelier’, created an atmosphere of intimacy where “it was like watching character actors in a play rather than models,” opined a viewer. A selection of quirky dresses, a floor-length coat with wide-ruched sash, a three-piece suit, a mini blazer dress, a printed pantsuit made a dramatic presentation, suggesting different moods that progressed in attitude and location from “a bit lost to finally happy”, thus creating diversity in a very cohesive way. A splash of colourful prints that included a striking indigo face design as well as bold checks and circles seemed to reference a more “pop-ish” era, and it was interesting to discover that the graphics had been painted by hand before being translated onto fabric. Knee-length boots, quirky socks and bags added to the general feeling of individualism and neutrality.
The Verve team had a quick chat with the designer on the ground at Fashion Week….
“Working with NEXA and getting to know their philosophy and the freedom that they gave us to put all our creativity into this collection was amazing, and I want to thank NEXA and Lakmé for giving us this opportunity to express our emotions through clothing.”
“The brand name Two Point Two itself is a testament to our philosophy of inclusivity and diversity because we wanted to go beyond the genders, beyond the binary of genders, which is 0 and 1, so that’s why it is called Two Point Two….”
“With this specific collection, through our model selection, through our set and everything else, we wanted to include diversity and inclusivity because that is a very important ideology for us, and since the inception of the brand four years ago, this has been our core value, and we have always stood by it…. We might change colours or silhouettes in our collections, but this identity and this core value always remain the same.”
“Before this, we have showcased at London Fashion Week, and we have done a virtual showcase at LA Fashion Week. We have also done Milan Fashion Week through Scouting for India, and I feel that all these places have different cultures, different lifestyles and different professionalism and ethics. But, I feel that the one common thing was the willingness to accept experimentation and drama, and an openness to new ideas, and I feel that India is not far behind – it is improving.”