Sachin Ahluwalia on Ankasa Legacy at Beacon Hill

I was recently invited to a viewing of a new fabric collection at Beacon Hill designed by Sachin and Babi of Ankasa Home. Legacy was introduced at the Beacon Hill offices by Sachin Ahluwalia himself and Beacon Hill’s Vice President Alexis Audette. The collection is unlike much of what you see at Ankasa but does represent Sachin and Babi, their style and their vast knowledge of fabric and techniques. The gorgeous new line was created after Babi visited India and returned inspired and rejuvinated. I had a chance to speak with both Sachin and Alexis about the collection and their vision. Here’s my conversation with Sachin.

Interview with Sachin Ahluwalia of Sachin & Babi and Ankasa Home

It was great to hear how you and Babi teamed up. Can you please share a little bit about first meeting Babi and partnering with her with the readers?

I was a student of fashion and Babi of textiles – we had an idea about starting a business together and I would use Babi as a fit model.

How do you start designing a new collection? What are your first steps?

Inspiration – usually a visit to a museum or a new country sparks an interest. The first steps are mood boards and color boards, and from there we tear sheets from fashion, home, or any magazine we find for trending colors. Most of the inspiration for Ankasa fabrics come directly from the fashion collection, so any embroideries we develop for fashion we try to recreate for the home as well.

Interview with Sachin Ahluwalia of Sachin & Babi and Ankasa Home

We can see Indian influences a tiny bit in your past work. This collection is entirely based about India and your Indian heritage. What influenced you to go down this route?

It really originated from a photographer who I got to know well. He traveled through Nepal and India on a very bohemian backpack trip, which I found quite fascinating. This inspired our Spring ‘13 ready-to-wear collection, which inspired Ankasa: Legacy by Beacon Hill. When collaborating I wanted to take the same essence and take us back home. This was the first collection that spoke to our heritage and legacy.

Interview with Sachin Ahluwalia of Sachin & Babi and Ankasa Home

In this collection the patterns are loosely based off of pictures Babi had taken while in India with your daughters, which were turned into mood boards. How many mood boards and patterns did you start with, and how did you pair down to those that are in the collection now?

Our mood boards incorporate anything that inspires us. We start with double, or even triple the mood boards that we end up with. We try to manipulate fabric based on our ready-to-wear collection, which doesn’t always translate to home fabrics. Styles fall in and out; it’s just part of the design process.

You’re collection has been tailored to three colors, marigold, vermillion and indigo. Why did you decide to go with these three colors and not bright pinks, oranges and greens that people often associate with India?

The collection usually has more neutrals with pops of color for everyday living. The bright colors you mentioned can be used in accents, and we were drawn more to these colors.

Interview with Sachin Ahluwalia of Sachin & Babi and Ankasa Home

The patterns that I’m most drawn to are the Crawford and the Shamiana. Can you tell us a little bit of background on these patterns?

The Crawford is a replica of the embroidery used in our spring contemporary line. The Shamiana is a popular Indian ceremonial tent or shelter print, commonly used for outdoor parties, weddings, feasts, etc.

Interview with Sachin Ahluwalia of Sachin & Babi and Ankasa Home

We’d love to know a bit about what your own home looks like. Can you please share a bit about your own home decor?

Although we use bright, bold fabrics and colors, our home is actually the opposite. We stick to neutrals when it comes to furniture, and brighten up the room with paintings, sculptures, and embroidered pillows.

Thank to Sachin for sharing your vision and inspiration behind the new collection with Beacon Hill! Tomorrow we’ll be hearing a bit more about Legacy from Alexis Audette, Vice President of Beacon Hill.

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