STUDIO TAB STRETCHES THE BOUNDARIES OF IMAGINATION THROUGH A MODERN INTERPRETATION OF THE TRADITIONAL SARI AS ONE OF THE DESIGN ELEMENT AT JJ SILKS IN MUMBAI.
Studio TAB stretches the boundaries of imagination through a modern interpretation of the traditional sari as one of the design element at JJ Silks in Mumbai.
The sari has always been a part of indian culture and tradition. From time immemorial, women all over India have worn them, while making it their own in the way it is draped. From five yards to nine yards, cotton to silk, the idea of the sari has never really changed. If you’re looking for proof of the sari’s persistent ubiquity, all you have to do is look around. What has changed over the years is the cloth it is made of and the way it is draped.
JJ Silks is a silk sari brand known for their exclusive patented designs. Their designs are renowned and sought after by the elite. They asked Rahul Menon and Ojas Chaudhari of Studio TAB to design a showroom that would be as exclusive and unique as their saris are. “We never wanted to create an everyday showroom, wherein the product is thrust onto the customer’s face, as soon as, one enters the retail space. We, in fact, chose to do the opposite. Since this showroom is for exclusive patented designs, we realized that the customers didn’t really need to be convinced about the product. What we wanted to give the customers was a never-felt-before retail experience,” says Rahul.
With the client’s brief in mind and an idea of how they would interpret it, began the journey encompassing parametrically defined curves, a splash of ethnicity and one fine blend of design. According to them, the space itself is like a finely woven silk sari.
Unlike other sari showrooms, whose opulence and overwhelming grandeur undermines the natural royal-ness of the fabric, they have kept the shell of the showroom minimal and bare at the first glance. It serves to enhance the vibrancy of silk and the richness of its colours. That explains the colour palette of grey hues on the floor and walls.
The table is the focal point of the room. At one end is the display zone, with the right amount of space to spread a complete sari on. On the other end, separated by a glass partition, is the reception desk. The table interjects the glass, cutting it in two halfs. The entire table has been made with Travertine marble and changes form at every six inches. It also has storage space that has been tactfully covered and made to look seamless.
The Travertine marble imprint on the sides of the table then flows down to meet the floor. It stirs up an image of two fabrics intertwining and flowing to their own rhythm. The subtle reflective concrete flooring serves to complete the design. The shade and the texture of the stone have been carefully selected, so as to add to the overall scheme rather than disturb it.
The wall directly in front of the entrance is designed to look like the border of a sari. It makes it stand out against the rest of the room. It also helps camouflage the door to the back of the showroom. The lighting adds to the overall design and texture of the wall in a subtle way. The subtle play of levels here helps to make the entire wall appear like a canvas for motifs, without any apparent breaks in between because of the door. It also addresses the practicality of keeping the work area/cabins hidden from the customers. To complement it, the wall at the back of the reception has been done similarly.
The ceiling above reflects the table below. It comes together at two points to form a light drop at the table — one at the reception area and the other at the display part of the table. The ceiling is the highlight of the space, just like the pallu is the main focus of the sari. It lights up the room and looking up will enchant the patrons.
Talking more about the ceiling, Rahul Menon explains, “The idea of creating tessellations was an experiment in itself. After several layouts and drawings, we came upon what we see today, a simple design of converging lines with a boldness that is subtle, but very much present. It has light oak wood finish stretch ceiling used for lighting along with adjustable lights”.
Last but not the least is the huge painting on the left wall by artist Samira Sukhatme. It is a beautiful red mandala design piece that lends to the ethnic environment. It’s vibrant and bold colours complement the saris on display. It just adds to the posh and elegant atmosphere of the space. It is the much needed splash of colour in the otherwise neutral showroom. On either sides of the 12’X 7’ artwork stand two brass lamps. On the wall in front of it, are the storage cupboards for the saris that are easily camouflaged so that no one will even know until time comes to open it, to display the saris.
An experience in itself, entry to this silk sari showroom is strictly by appointment only. They seek to reinvent the wheel, so to say, with their patented sari designs. The designers have done the same with the way they have envisioned and then designed the retail space.
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