There are two reasons we are thrilled about this blog post, one is obviously the new title in question Showroom and second because this is our first interview post for Paper Planes (nervous admission). But we couldn’t have asked for a better (read cooler) set of people to kick-start, what we are hoping will be a, series of chats with some of the most creative minds breathing new life into print.
Showroom is the new indie launched by the designer duo, Amrita Khanna and Gursi Singh – the names behind the fashion label Lovebirds (based in Delhi).
The first issue of Showroom is a selection of poster art curated by the team at Lovebirds bringing together the works of some of the most celebrated artists in the country including Bharat Sikka, Sameer Kulavoor, Janine Shroff. We are a bit biased towards visual culture as a genre, so anything we say about the issue will be heavily punctuated with “Oooohs and Wows”, so we thought it may be best to let the makers introduce the title themselves, while we concentrate on sprucing up our walls for the pull out posters in the issue to go up – Yes! you can pull out the posters and hang them up or use it as a gift-wrap, as Gursi suggests!
You both are fashion designers by craft, so how did the idea of a print magazine come about?
Amrita: Lovebirds as a label was started for 'the love of doing the things that we love to do'. From curating vintage, to designing our own lines, and now a publication. Who knows what we get into tomorrow;).
Gursi: We've never wanted to be limited to just fashion. Also I come from a graphic background. I have been art directing for a while, doing my own collection of digital collages, visual graphics and illustrations. We also really focus on combining fashion and graphics together. You can see it from the grids, the stripes, the boxy silhouettes, the muted colour story or even the whole range of digitally printed shirts called Urbane Garden. We think this publication is a natural outcome of our interests and inclinations.
We were (pleasantly) surprised to see that the subject of the magazine was far removed from fashion – why not a fashion magazine given your vocation?
Amrita: That'll be too much fashion!
Gursi: In fact, you don't need another fashion magazine in the market. And visual art is super fashionable too!
This issue curates poster art; what was the idea behind this?
Amrita: The idea was accessible art for utility for all.
Gursi: I like when art is more interactive. You could have your own relationship with the publication. You could frame it, or make a collage out of it, or even gift wrap a special gift with these. It's nice when you could use the publications differently.
Will the theme of the upcoming issues be on similar subjects i.e. visual culture? Are there any other topics you guys personally like and would want to cover in upcoming issues?
Amrita: nowadays we are constantly thinking of different topics we could address through this like gender, environment, cultures etc.
Gursi: it will be nice to see it take a new shape when it's more theme based. We could also do just a photo story in one of the issues, and only doodles in the other. But we would really want to stick to the visual culture through this.
What part of the process of magazine making did you most enjoy?
Amrita: selecting the works of these artists and going through each and every piece of their body of work.
Gursi: designing the cover.
And lastly, we can’t resist asking this ☺ - do you read a lot of indie magazine titles? Are there any favourites?
Amrita: We really like magazines like Not Today, Toilet Paper, Girls and Boys on film zines, Perdue magazine, Cereal, Strip etc. In fact we also stock some of these in our own store.
Gursi: and not to forget motherland!