By Beverly Pereira
Photography: Courtesy the designer
Stepping inside Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s new store in Mumbai is akin to a privy peek into the aesthetically heightened realm of India’s most notable fashion designer!
Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee describes his approach to design as a “personalised imperfection of the human mind”. His flagship store not only reflects his design philosophy but also his vision of Indian luxury.
Spread over two levels, the 8500 sq. ft. store in the heritage building of Ador House, in the art precinct of Kala Ghoda has an elegant façade. The old-world charm continues as you step inside.
Clusters of vintage hand-painted chandeliers hang in abundance from above, 22 shimmering antique pieces to be precise. The self-designed store plays home to his luxurious Indian bridal wear, ready-to-wear saris, Indian and western formal and casual wear, and menswear. The lower level houses bespoke bridal jewellery curated by Sabyasachi and designed by the Hyderabad-based Kishan Das & Co.
With an aim to create a space for people to enjoy and where buying clothes is incidental, the Kolkata-born master couturier went all out to source collectibles that now form the unique decor of his store. Placed on restored colonial tables are 400 ittar bottles painstakingly collected from the by lanes of Lucknow and Hyderabad, some of which are stuck to surfaces to aid maintenance.
Abundant cliques of clocks grace the walls, while there are 52 antique rugs, some framed and wall-hung and others, delicately placed on the floor. One of them, an Iranian carpet, has passed many hands before it found a place here.
|The designer in his abode|
Well known for pioneering the use of Indian textiles in a modern context and for his liberal use of indigenous methods like bandhini and block printing, the designer has opted for chintz curtains, block printed on 200-count khadi.
The store combines the opulent nuances of the India’s rich historic past with subtle touches of the contemporary. Modern quirks tend to blend in with lavish historic pieces; like an Amul coffee-table book and the cluttered nostalgic feel of Parsi and Bengali homes.
In this world detached from reality, one can enjoy a hand-pressed coffee in a tropical cactus garden or browse through books collected over the years... It’s yet another beautiful and successful execution of revivalism by Sabyasachi.