Photography: Courtesy the architect
This is the story of two successful professional synergies – that of an architect and a fashion designer...
When two successful professionals decide to synergize and the result is a like a sumptuous dish, with a lot to be appreciated but a lot else left mysterious, one can say that the new pairing seems promising. We refer the case-in-point to Ar. Saket Sethi and fashion designer Ashley Rebello, who have recently come together to collaborate on interior design projects. They have made a beginning with Ashleys’ office in suburban Mumbai and his store in partnership with Alvira Khan Agnihotri that is scheduled to open its doors this 27th Oct.’13. (stay tuned in to these pages for the design story on that too)
Speaking of their collaboration, Saket opines that whilst he is strong on space planning, Ashley contributes to texture and colour, taking the project forward on a quicker-surer footing. The latter in turn depends on Saket for his technical expertise and for introducing his set traditional leanings to newer modern thought. Like the jali effect that Ashley was positive he wanted as part of his office with his favourite nature connect of butterflies, dragonflies and flowers has been delightfully encapsulated amid geometric diamond forms taking the pattern forward in an eclectic chic wrap.
|Designer Ashley Rebello's office|
|Detail in Ashley's office|
Ashley’s office in predominant white shows off daintiness in detail that perhaps attributes to the designer’s diligence; references to conventionality that underlines rootedness in cultural ethos; an array of personal photographs that aver to strength of relationships and a touch of the unusual in the pink deer heads (incidentally, these also anoint Saket’s office; maybe intentionally!) that speak of the element of uniqueness that characterizes Ashley’s style – whether for Salman Khan, top models and heroines or the lay person.
Taking a cue from this streak of inimitability, we take you across to Saket’s office, or should one say, un-office, as you enter a row house, are greeted by two large dogs and a small ornate garden, a white-enveloped reception to be ushered into a large room dominated by a large glass-topped desk with a designer deep-seat flaunting it from behind. That’s not all. Seemingly wild, blotched-paper print wallpaper looms large over the desk, urging you to look around your surroundings.
The unconventional or as Saket puts it, “exploratory” environment is intentional and purports to immediately convey the design sensibilities of the firm to the prospective client: distinctive; ingenious; non-signatory; and warm. The ambience engages with the visitor: whether with the painted wood batons at the corner, the hint of a sliding wall, where the wallpaper rests, the fabric-covered side wall, chaise lounge or even the variety of chairs that occupy the same room in a cocoon of belonging and comfort above all else.
It is this warmth that puts-at-ease the client, who feels safe knowing the architect as he spills himself thin to establish the connect that is key in this architect-client bonding.
It is this envelope of warmth that sets the two design synergies on fire.