NorBlack NorWhite is a clothing brand with an aesthetic that pays tribute to Michael Jackson, 90’s RnB and all things old & gold - our happy place, in other words. While that is just about enough for us to be in love already, they’ve upped it a notch by launching their new ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya” capsule collection with an incredible dance video. Creators Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar were raised in Toronto, and moved to India to explore their Indian roots and the glorious world of textiles, art forms and artisan communities. HG got talking to them about the video, the collection and the inspiration behind both.
The video, created by NBNW and directed by Saif Azmi & Mriga Kapadiya is a dedication to all the women who dance their way through life, despite the darkness that falls in their way. Both, the music and the choreography translate the essence of this idea in a way that makes you feel it on the tips of your fingertips and soles of your feet. NBNW tells us that “(t)his is a love letter to all 90’s everything and parts of the soundtrack to which we grew up. In Toronto, we listened to a lot of R &B & Hip Hop - Missy Elliot, Timbaland, A.R. Rahman & Usher are super inspiring artists and were a huge influence in some of our best memories.” MadStarBase has remixed these beats to the Tamil version of ‘Kuchchi Kuchchi Rakkama’ making for the perfect soundtrack for dancing ninjas in incredible shiny armour. They say that “the energy of this remix is how we feel about our personal experience of growing up in Toronto’s diverse black music culture & the buzzing of Bombay and the classic Bollywood dances and sounds we miss.”
The choreography and selection of dancers depended hugely on the music - it is a dance video after all. The choreographer, Priya Lisa Gonsalves, has been learning, teaching and experimenting with dance in Mumbai for many years now. NBNW aimed to collaborate with her “to put together a dance piece to help break stereotypes of what it means to be a dancer in India. The remaining dancers hail from Calcutta, Bangalore, LA & Bombay” they tell us. On the inspiration behind the video itself, NBNW says “Navigating the world as a brown woman, everyday feels like we are in ninjas in training. We have been consistently attracting women from around the world that move and operate their days with this same type of energy. We’re now surrounded by a family of ninjas and understand this isn’t a coincidence as our mothers also move in this style & grace. It might have looked different back then, but having to protect ourselves as we move, while feeling beautiful was the foundation of it all.”
After having moved home base to Delhi from Mumbai, both Mriga and Amrit adjusted their eyes to the muted palette of the smoggy sky and the city’s obsession with shiny things - drawing inspiration for the series. The material is created by hand tie - dyeing a cotton base with woven metal wire, lending it the shimmer we see and love. The brand has always experimented with tye-dye and this is the newest spin on their experiments. As seen in the video, the gender fluid collection has shimma trench coats, overalls, crop tops, boyfriend shirts, churidars, skirts and pullovers - each one calling out to your closet.
To shop the Shimmy Shimmy Ya Collection, click here.