BIG CITY, BRIGHT LIGHTS
The Big Apple, Empire City, the city that never sleeps — New York has many monikers. I, for one, will always call it home. My love affair with NYC has been an on going one — I’ve been spending my summers in the city for the last 20 years.
At 21, I spent one semester studying at Parsons, and that was my maiden experience of living in New York. Needless to say, I fell in love right away. As luck would have it, I also lived in New York for six years after I got married from 2004 to 2010.
T h e r e i s something infectious about the vibe of the city. It’s extremely inde pendent and self- suffic i e n t , a n d there’s something for everyone. Ever so dynamic, there is never a dull moment. Its renowned cosmopolitan nature ensures that my two loves — fashion and food — are always well satiated there.
Living in New York exposed me to an entirely different point of view to Indian fashion. Living in a city that’s so eclectic and buzzing at all times, I saw the label organically grow into a more trendy and contemporary one. I think this also the reason that my clothes are so popular with NRIs — I got a first- hand experience of their lifestyle and what they’re looking for in traditional wear. I even had my flagship store at Gramercy Park in Manhattan between 2006 and 2008. The city’s street style constantly inspired me ( and still does) in a big way, and New York has a lot to do with the muted colour palette ( I use black in every collection) that my brand has come to be associated with. In fact, my debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week upon my return was called ManusXMachina exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Payal gives finishing touches Models in Payal Singhal creations at Earth NYC Fashion Show in the Meat Packing District, March 2005
‘ New York New York’. Best describes as East meets West; it was a manifestation of my experiences as an Indian designer living in the city.
My personal style hasn’t escaped the city’s influence either. I used to be a boho/ grunge dresser when here, but that saw a complete turnaround and evolved into more or a goth- hipster vibe once there. Even today, you’ll see me wearing black even at 6am and that’s all New York! Transitional dressing is a relatively new con-