BIG CITY, BRIGHT LIGHTS

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

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-

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