Worn out, vin­tage, well lived in… the dis­tressed look is in, whether in care­fully slashed jeans or fur­ni­ture. Mithila Me­hta talks to de­sign­ers to ex­am­ine the hottest trend of the sea­son

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

Afew months ago, I went with my el­derly aunt for a meal to the beau­ti­ful Pali Vil­lage Café in Ban­dra. I no­ticed, from the mo­ment we walked in, that she looked vis­i­bly un­com­fort­able — eye­ing the peel­ing wall paint, the rusted pipes and ex­posed bricks with both cu­rios­ity and dis­dain. Fi­nally, when she could take it no more, she burst out: “This restau­rant is in a very bad state! Why doesn’t the man­age­ment get it fixed up?” What my dear aunt didn’t re­al­ize was that the dé­cor was a care­fully planned ex­e­cu­tion. The peel­ing paint, the rust was all de­lib­er­ate. In sim­ple terms, the “dis­tressed” look. Whether it is fur­ni­ture, dé­cor, fash­ion, hair or make- up, dis­tressed is the hottest trend of the sea­son. You only have to look around to find the most ex­pen­sive restaurants with paint peel­ing off their walls, ex­or­bi­tantly priced out­fits that are care­fully slashed and ripped; and on the beauty front, un­kempt brows and un­combed hair are en vogue. Ex­plains Twin­kle Khanna, owner and head de­signer at The White Win­dow, “De­sign is an on­go­ing cy­cle. Since we have just gone through a he­do­nis­tic phase it's time to turn to the next phase. The most spe­cific rea­son why the dis­tressed look is fash­ion­able is that change is al­ways fash­ion­able!” While dis­tressed refers to all things in­ten­tion­ally un­kempt, un­fin­ished and unglam­ourised, there are slight nu­ances when re­lated to dif­fer­ent fields. Ex­plains Khanna, “The dis­tressed look in fur­ni­ture is a part of the neo- in­dus­trial de­sign style. It in­cludes un­fin­ished walls, ce­ment floors, scrapped fur­ni­ture and vin­tage in­spired prints.” In the world of

fash­ion, dis­tressed wears a slightly dif­fer­ent look. Ex­plains Aditya Sing­hal, CEO, It's My Life Jeans Co, mak­ers of be­spoke dis­tressed jeans, “Dis­tressed is ba­si­cally fash­ion with a worn out ‘ dam­aged’ look. For ex­am­ple, a typ­i­cal blue pair of jeans would tra­di­tion­ally be faded and tear at cer­tain spots to give it that ‘ dis­tressed’ char­ac­ter.” Why are people spend­ing thou­sands of ru­pees on the dis­tressed look, rather than opt­ing for some­thing that ac­tu­ally looks new? “The dis­tressed look gives fur­ni­ture an an­tique feel and thus a unique look. Hav­ing a dis­tressed look also gives a sense of old world charm which many people find ap­peal­ing, hence the pop­u­lar­ity of the trend. It is dif­fer­ent and not your pre­dictable type of dé­cor,” ex­plains Krsna Me­hta, de­sign di­rec­tor, part­ner, In­dia Cir­cus. “It is a change from all the per­fect home decor looks that you find these days which is why people are spend­ing money on it.”

Agrees San­vari Alagh Nair, di­rec­tor, house­proud. in, “Dis­tressed fur­ni­ture is very pop­u­lar as it adds age and char­ac­ter to a room. Giv­ing a vin­tage charm to your space, it brings an old- world, worn and well- lived look to the room, mak­ing it com­fort­able and invit­ing.

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