David Abraham on why monochrome will always be a mainstay

by Drishti Mistry

Season after season, Abraham & Thakore establish themselves as the masters of monochrome with their line-up of contemporary designs infused with indigenous Indian textiles. To explore their love affair with the evergreen colour palette and to intercept what monochrome truly means to them, we sat down with one half of the designer duo, David Abraham and found out why life is better in black and white…

What does monochrome mean to you?

Of course, nature is all about colour, the world around us would be very dreary indeed if it were all in black and white and shades of grey. Colour is life in all its myriad hues. But having said that, I do find there is a refreshing lack of ambiguity in black and white. Take a clear black line that runs across a flat white surface. It has intent in its movement. We know where that line is going.

Why will monochrome always be a mainstay according to you?

As a designer who deals with pattern and colour on a daily basis, I often find myself gravitating to the clarity of black and white when I’m trying to simplify an idea. There’s something reductivist about black and white, it allows me to concentrate on the essence of a form. And I find that calming.

Can you recollect your first brush with the black and white colour palette?

From my earliest lessons in drawing with graphite, to the study of composition and the relationship of form to space, my eye was trained in black and white. It was in these lessons that I learnt about maintaining balance and harmony within a white space.

What is your most memorable monochrome collection till date?

One of our catwalk collections named, ‘block, black, white’ from a few seasons ago. It was an investigation into how the traditional woodblock can be used to create patterns on the fabric.

How did you ensure that monochrome did not fall prey to monotony in this collection?

We explored the plain, uncarved surface of the woodblock, and then used it to create flat unadorned surfaces of colour. In our explorations, we also developed surface designs of stripes and blocks. Multi-directional lines ran into stripes, blocks of black created borders and solid surfaces, and to hold it all together, the strong black and white palette was employed. And then, of course, we designed the entire collection in black and white. Simple and elegant, it was the most effective way to demonstrate our concepts.

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Abraham & Thakore…



Abraham & Thakore…



Abraham & Thakore…



Abraham & Thakore…



Abraham & Thakore …


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