Let there be light

At the last India Couture Week held in July, one of the most awaited shows was that of couturier

Gaurav Gupta. The maestro, known for his unconventional approach to clothes, had promised something out-of-the-ordinary. But when we walked in for his show, the setting took everyone’s breath away. Hanging from the top were these huge light installations which lit up when the show commenced and converted the simple ramp into a celestial zone. Ethereal and spectacular, the lights dramatized the show to such an extent that, if I may add, they turned out to be the real beauties of the moment.
After it was all over, I did congratulate Gaurav, but I walked up to Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth and gushed about their lighting brilliance. I’ve followed their work at Klove Studio for ten years now but every time their design and precision manage to leave me speechless. The way they have constantly converted real spaces into surreal dimensions, these boys have shown the world how light can be luxury, too.
Klove Studio is a rare instance of how a long friendship can famously culminate into a profitable creative profession. Prateek, a business graduate from Delhi, and Gautam, a chemical engineer from Ambala, were family friends. Ten years back both recognised the that similar design aesthetics occupied their artistic faculties and Klove came into being with decorative light
installations and home accessories. As a boutique label, they combine glass, ceramic, steel, brass and stone to construct shapes that make a statement. Once, a few years back, the duo conceptualised a show where guests walked into dark rooms illuminated by only Klove lights. It was a magical setting that left an indelible impression on the onlooker’s mind. Lights that attain a sculptural beauty and opulent design vocabulary, Prateek and Gautam’s works have always, always been remarkable.
When I walked into the Klove Studio five years back, I was struck by how plain the decor was. But then, the grey and olive walls are a perfect backdrop to the beauties the boys create. Lights and chandeliers of all shapes and sizes grabbed my attention. Some are huge, some tiny, but each one defied convention of design. One resembled a bee-hive while another looked like a piece of Indian jewellery. “The latter is part of the collection Basra, inspired by traditional Indian jewellery. That’s why the cuts and curves of Indian earrings, neckpieces and bangles,” Prateek had enunciated then.
Prateek and Gautam started by making small accessories for luxurious homes. Great reviews resulted in them designing light installations for those with a yen for stunning interiors. Their work sells in Dubai, Paris, London and New York. Klove is also a permanent fixture at the Maison & Objet Fair in Paris.
The boys draw inspiration from their travels. Like in Turkey, their creativity was piqued by the
exquisite architecture of the monuments and minarets. From Greece, they brought back vignettes of the countryside and nature to use in their work. Ladakh’s awe-inspiring landscape and Vietnam’s topography resulted in jaw-dropping artistry in their works.
In 2016, the designers travelled to Scandinavia and came back overawed by the form and function of the designs they witnessed there. Since then, Klove’s collections have focused on ‘Mid Century Modern and Nordic’ as an ode to designers from that region. This year they have delved deeper to transcend from product design into pure conceptual installation design to bring alive a new dimension in their exploration of light and form.
Last year, the founders of Klove also transformed their retail design atelier to become a sensory experience playing with form, scale, dimension of light, sound, smell and even taste. They are now playing with newer materials such as Jade Glass and woven metal fabric (developed in collaboration with fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh). Different forms of textures in glass tango with variety of light sources — LED, fibre optic and halogen — to create unique effects.
Winner of multiple accolades and awards, the talented designers at Klove are clear about their design philosophy. “The design themes flow from neo-classical to contemporary, combining different temporal and textural styles, keeping in mind the global citizen who wants a timeless and bold art piece for modern living. Our lights are form based and rooted in Indian culture and this seeps into everything we design and produce.”

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