With a pace that seems to get more crazy every day, the fashion world can seem a challenging place to create concepts that feel genuinely fresh and meaningful. So when we stumbled upon PER/se, a London based brand that was created by Mandeep & Hardeep Kaur, we were instantly hooked. Every 2 months, the twin sisters launch 1 coat, meticulously designed, crafted and turned over and over again, until it's just perfect to be adopted by whomever is willing to cherish it forever. With the hashtag #JustOne, they're literally putting their sisterly unity out there, because why go for multiple less-than-perfect things than 1 that's spot-on? Yeah, that's a genius concept right there, and being smart is just one of the sisters' enviable traits, as we found out chatting with them about their Indian roots, their personal interpretation of high-quality fashion, and that unique twin bond that takes everything to the next level. And if you're noticing they don't ever interrupt each other, it's because there's no need: it's like 1 mind, people!
ON THE PROFOUND INFLUENCE OF THEIR INDIAN ROOTS
Mandeep: We grew up in a small town outside of London, but both our parents are from India. We still go back there a lot, to visit our closest family and take in the culture.
Hardeep: Ever since we were young, there's been a focus on simplicity that I feel goes back to our roots. Our mom has always stressed the importance of good fabrics, and the cut, fit and texture of a piece. I remember going to India during Summer break, and trying on clothes and fabrics to take home. Our mom would tell us to touch the fabrics and imagine it on our skins, rather than randomly assembling the things that first appealed to us. Additionally, by sharing truly sentimental pieces with us, such as her wedding sari , we've come to appreciate the value of fashion, and how to make it meaningful. I'd say it's the foundation of our business, something we never ever want to lose.
ON NEVER CUTTING THEIR HAIR SHORT
Mandeep: Our beauty look has always been about cherishing our natural appearances. That definitely goes back to our Punjabi heritage that are all about honouring your natural beauty. All of us girls at home - we have 2 older sisters - have never cut our hair! We have this routine for knotting our hair in a very specific way, which has become part of who we are, of our style, you know? Even if we stay in all day long, we'll take care of ourselves and make sure we look put-together, because for us, it's part of valuing what we've been given.
ON THE REASON BEHIND THEIR MINIMAL MAKE-UP LOOKS
Mandeep: Due to our upbringing, we're very conscious about what we put onto our skins. We're huge fans of natural oils; we use coconut oil for moisturising as well as taking off our make-up. Enhancing your natural beauty by using natural products - that's the basic idea.
ON DRESSING IN FULL-ON MONOCHROMES BECAUSE IT MATCHES YOUR MOOD
Mandeep: As twins, we were never dressed in the same clothes. Our mom would put us in anything that was lying around - no time for matching. :) Up until today, we might sometimes match our outfits, sometimes we don't. It mostly depends on our moods. One of my earliest childhood fashion memories is of this 1 outfit that made me feel so cool: it was a full-on monochrome look with red trousers, a matching t-shirt and cardigan, and then I thought it'd be so awesome to add a white bag and shoes, as a statement. Looking back, it must've looked very weird outfit, those shiny white shoes underneath a totally red outfit, but it made me feel so good! Our mom would never tell us that we looked silly, as long as we were happy with what we were wearing. And that's how we still look at fashion today: it's meant to sustain your mood, how you feel, and uplift your day.
ON CREATING YOUR OWN SIGNATURE SCENT
Hardeep: I don't wear the same fragrance every day, because, for me, it's the same as getting dressed: it's very mood-driven and has to exactly match my state of mind. I like to think of it as a little secret that you wear, depending on your mood, that really sets the tone for the day. Some time ago, Mandeep gave me a birthday gift to create my own scent at Floris, an ancient family business of perfumers that's based in London. So if I wear a fragrance these days, it's almost always that one. It just doesn't get more personal than that one!
ON BEING 1 AND LOVING IT
Mandeep: We live together, we work together, we're pretty much 1. But for us, it would never cross our minds to think of this as compromising our identities as individuals, because we see us being twins as a major plus. We're the youngest of 5 children, so we know how tough it can be to be independent and on your own, so we feel very lucky to have each other. For us, it's a given to do everything together, it feels very natural.
Hardeep: We're just better when we're together, it's as simple as that!
Thanks so much for sharing your vision with us, Mandeep & Hardeep!