TEAMWORK: Designer Saloni Lodha and fine jeweler Eugenie Niarchos have brought their mutual obsessions — traveling, bright colors, embellishments — to life via a new ready-to-wear capsule collection that will drop in September.
After continuously sharing ideas and meeting in different places across the globe, the longtime friends finally decided to create something together. “We would travel to Bombay and to Hong Kong, pick up references from each place and talk about all the different dresses we wanted to design and where each style would work,” said Lodha, whose label, Saloni is best known for its vibrant, printed dresses.
“I think I can get into Eugenie’s head and we love all the same things,” the designer added during the launch lunch at Dartmouth House in London’s Mayfair.
The capsule channels the same fantasy-filled aesthetic that Niarchos’ jewelry is known for: There are tiger prints that pay homage to her spirit animal, sequin dresses and midi skirts reflecting her love of mermaids and intricately embroidered pieces that reflect on both designers’ fascination with India.
“My brand’s aesthetic is very ethereal. It’s inspired by space, underwater life and mermaids, while Saloni was thinking about these islands off of India and diving, so all that came together,” Niarchos said. “We are always talking about these trips we want to do, what we’re going to wear, what we’re going to pack. What girls do.”
There is also matching crop top and midi skirt combination that Lodha created for Niarchos to wear at her “Holi Saloni” event, a celebration of the brand’s 10th anniversary. It was held in India earlier this year.
“I wanted to wear something that had Indian influences, but I also wanted to look like a mermaid. We then ended up with the idea of a psychedelic peacock dress with Indian embroidery,” said Niarchos, pointing to the bright blue, embroidered silhouette with mirrors and myriad sequins.
The duo has also focused on easy silhouettes ranging from slipdresses and loose shirtdresses to embroidered pajama-like sets. “These are meant to be party dresses that you can wear in the day with flats and dress up at night with heels,” said Niarchos, who was wearing an embroidered tiger-print slipdress over a T-shirt.
The duo displayed their new collection in a grand room of the Georgian town house and decorated the lunch table with big silver seashells, pink grapefruits and tiger-print glasses.
The new range was made available in May on a pre-order basis at Moda Operandi and will drop in additional retail locations in September. Prices range from $650 to $2,300.
Niarchos, who recently launched a fine jewelry collection at Las Vegas’ Couture show, said she wants to continue experimenting with new categories.
“I’ve done a few other rtw collaborations in the past, for example with Azzaro. There are certain things when it comes to clothing that I’m not as familiar with, but here we treated the dresses as pieces of jewelry and made sure that a lot of the dresses in the collection go with my jewels,” she added.