STYLISHLY, SOPHISTICATED AND OPULENT JADE-MONICA AND KARISHMA STORE, IN HYDERABAD IS A DESIGN TREAT.
The designer store, Jade-Monica and Karishma, in Hyderabad is spread over an area of 3,100 sq.ft. The aesthetic designed store showcase the glimpses of Hyderabad fashion during the Nizam era captured in framed pictures from the honored Deendayal collection adoring the walls. Adding dashes of richness are huge framed mirrors and antique zardosi.
An exquisite wooden idol of goddess Saraswati amongst plush green potted plants welcomes one into a modern door way of the store, and here one is reminded of the glorious history, of the bygone era of the Nawabs and Nizams, the blue blood of Hyderabad. With their typical design vintage concept interiors of all Jade stores, this high-end designer store with couture collection of Monica and Karishma belongs to Manuja Agarwal of Hyderabad. Designed by young architect Divya Gulecha, who has meticulously woven the interiors by bringing touches of Hyderabadi royalty in this plush, yet grunge store.
Explaining the ner nuances of design, Divya explains, “The Jade store came as a shell to us. After rigorous study on display and functionality of the store, we created a functional space. The layout has been divided in four horizontal sections, each serving a different purpose.”
The space though historic and conventional has dashes of grunge to give the space a mysterious touch. Though the designer has scrupulously created multiple spaces according to functionality, one feels a ow of interiors. In the rst bay — Reception area close to the door is an old Victorian easel converted into stand, while an antique four-poster bed too acts a functional design element. A massive Shehnai plays a pivotal role in merging the spaces. An antique enormous sandook from Gujarat becomes the Reception table, while the old Tanjore painting depicting wedding of Shiv and Parvati gives the space the colour and lavishness. The Tanjore painting collections, that have been displayed all over the store belong to Manuja Agarwal’s family the owner of the store. Completing the decor is a hanging dress creatively displayed along with colourful leather trunks.
The second bay has been designed for the designers’ pret line-Amoha collection. This is a much smaller and intimate bay, keeping the simple character of the clothes in mind. One wall has mirror-framed from old picture frame. To one side is an antique wooden dresser with wheels also displayed are antique silver pitchers and exquisitely carved silver pots. A refurbished old cupboard too is part of the space.
Once again separating the space are, old metal railing grills xed from ceiling, while below this is rod hanging down and displaying their couture collection. To one side is a chest of drawers displaying antique creations.
Divya explains, “What clicked for us was this layout, which brought in the confidence of the Jade designers and that is when we moved forward to define entryways of these bays using old wooden doors from various parts of Telangana state. These doors are among the statement elements for the conception of Jade design. These along with the cast-iron railings did the magic of the “vintage” charm, we were trying to achieve.”
And continues, “Among the prime challenges was the sourcing of these antique materials, artefacts, not to mention the amount of time, we spent to get them to a presentable condition. There are artefacts from Karaikudi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Warangal and so on! The entry doors were our major find albeit each of these doors individually took 25 days to reach to the present condition. The front door had at least six layers of enamel paint on it. Fixing of all of these heavy doors without any pillar or wall support was very difficult, so we abandoned the false ceiling altogether and suspended everything from the ceiling.”
The Jade store design evolved along with the pace of the project on the site and as and when they found materials to use. The designer picked up used clip-style rolling shutter from Mumbai, which they used innovatively for partitions and ceiling. The whole bridal ceiling dimension was determined with the size of the shutter available! They used 8’ tall wooden louver doors for trial rooms and changed lintel levels, as per the material in hand. Special space was also created for antique Tanjore paintings from the owners’ private collection. Each of these is about 6’6” tall and weigh at least 85 kg individually.
As one goes further inside, one reaches the belly of the site, i.e. the biggest bay containing their signature evening wear accompanied by a jewellry section. This exclusive space has partly wooden ooring to break the dark stone. The bay displays designer evening wear and jewellery-Manuja’s family brand Pinaki apart from other clothes. The antique seating judiciously infused with rich colours in the form of soft furnishing and upholstery blends effortlessly with the huge wooden framed mirrors personifying luxury.
An interesting space in the centre is occupied by mannequins crafted from Kerala’s Theyyam torso. These torsos made from metal have been hand-crafted in Kerala, where they are used by traditional Theyyam dancers.
One notices that the flow of design seems to continue to the end of the store and the subtle division of spaces according to functionality has been cleverly done by hanging railing or grills below which the outfits are hung for display.
A massive and magnicent doorway from Warangal leads one to the last but not the least- the main Bridal Couture. This space has been given a special treatment using antique wooden arches, a full metal ceiling, plush furniture and wooden ooring. A mandap has been created by using rolling shutters as ceiling and old wood mandap pillars support the grills. Old wooden arches hold up the railing ceiling creating an appealing area enhanced by wooden ooring and antique wooden upholstered seats. The centre table here has been crafted from an old chest. Close by are customized cabinets in wood and glass displaying fashion accessories like clutch bags, trinkets etc. One cannot overlook the hanging swish and chic designer clothes, that seem to act as design elements.
The trial room is royalty personified space with red carpet, enormous framed mirrors etc. The walls with silver nish colour, are done using two shades, one base colour and the other a light silver done up using a sponge. One can admire the glorious framed Tanjore paintings, which is a part of the decor apart from old hanging brass lamps, an old wooden clothes stand and many more such exclusive pieces that add distinct character to the space.
All through the store, the flooring has been left inconspicuous with the use of local leather finished Kadappa stone with judicious use of wood in selected areas elevating it to the status of casual chic. The use of natural light, upcycling of materials, use of locally available labour and material are some of the other aspects.
On the whole, the store gives feeling of rhythmic conformity.