85 Lans­downe

The de­sign war­ren has read­ily re­mained at its acme po­si­tion un­touched over the last decade and is a per­fect bal­ance of art and lux­ury un­der one roof

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Nabamita Chat­ter­jee

85 Lans­downe, a brand which has trans­formed the style quo­tient of the City of Joy since 2007 re­cently got a make-over and was re-launched at its orig­i­nal des­ti­na­tion af­ter an ex­ten­sive restora­tion and ren­o­va­tion. One of the city’s prime lux­ury fash­ion des­ti­na­tions, 85 Lans­downe, is the brain­child of Shalini Nopany and Pooja Goenka and is pro­moted by New In­dia Re­tail­ing. De­signed by Ajay Arya, In­te­rior De­sign Con­sul­tant - A Square De­signs , it is an 80-year-old man­sion spread over two lev­els and strate­gi­cally lo­cated on Lans­downe Road, one of the main thor­ough­fares of the city. The place has been done up in such a man­ner that it can meet the de­mands of the con­tem­po­rary yet tra­di­tional fash­ion clique. The front fa­cade of this stand-alone house has been re­stored to its orig­i­nal clas­sic look. All ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures have been kept in­tact and not been re­placed with any mod­ern con­struc­tion ma­te­rial. The aim was not to re­place the struc­ture with any­thing that could make it look 'cold.' Thus the own­ers have re­tained its old wooden lou­vered win­dows, ve­ran­dah rail­ings in wrought iron and all other clas­sic el­e­ments. The sig­nage is also very Euro­pean-Clas­sic in wrought iron with a solid wooded board with '85 Lans­downe' etched and hand painted on it. “The newly ren­o­vated store of­fers you the pos­si­bil­ity to browse at your own per­sonal

pace and se­lect your favourite pieces. Based on your moods, in­ter­ests and emo­tions you can be equipped for ev­ery spe­cial mo­ment of so­cial life with our hand picked new collection. The rich­ness of the space meets your per­sonal at­ti­tude and cre­ates an ef­fort­less lux­u­ri­ous, fresh fash­ion re­al­ity. Shapes and fabrics evoke the de­tails and dis­ci­pline of this glam­our and help you cre­ate an im­age of time­less el­e­gance. This is com­ple­mented by our il­lus­tri­ous list of de­sign­ers who stock with us. Ad­di­tion­ally, the store has a new line up of younger, fresh up­com­ing names to show off as well,” shares Shalini Nopany, Co-owner, 85 Lans­downe.

In terms of de­sign­ing the space the idea was not only to ren­o­vate but also to 'in­no­vate.' Ajay says talk­ing about how the 'Old Cal­cutta Bari' or house has be­come a life­style des­ti­na­tion of Kolkatans, “I thought we could keep the old- bungalow vibe in­tact, while the in­te­ri­ors could tell a whole new story. We wanted the rus­tic el­e­ments to be re­placed with more 'luxe' fea­tures, like how fash­ion glob­ally is to­day. We wanted the ' clas­sic' to beau­ti­fully blend with the uber ' con­tem­po­rary ' and what is achieved is what I call 'Clas­sic is the new Con­tem­po­rary!' It is a 5000sq.ft. house split in two lev­els, ground and the first with 10 ten rooms in all. The plan was to do up the store like a home, with each of the 10 spa­ces de­signed as a par­tic­u­lar room. There is a

draw­ing room, a bed­room, a break­fast room, a boudoir, the ve­ran­dah and even a walk-in closet. The ma­jor 'chal­lenge' was not to take away with any­thing that I my­self had cre­ated when 85 Lans­downe was first done up in 2007. The store had been adored so much that any change that we now pro­pose, would only had to work for the bet­ter. The strat­egy was to bring this 'tra­di­tional house' to mod­ern times with its clas­sic essence in­tact and just rep­re­sent it in a very con­tem­po­rary way. Thus I felt the en­tire look could be lux­u­ri­ous but sub­tle.” The sub­tle look has been main­tained through stark white walls and cur­tains along with a few walls which are bluish-grey that bring out the colours of the gar­ments beau­ti­fully. Che­quered black and white mar­ble floor­ing for the com­mon ar­eas and wooden floor­ing for the rooms, be­sides the orig­i­nal stair­case rail­ings and pan­elled wall give the old­bun­ga­low look. While mir­rors and glass, dark­wood shelves and stands in sleek de­signs, all­black man­nequins and edgy fur­ni­ture add a dash of the con­tem­po­rary feel to the whole store. As the store has been treated more like a store within a home, zon­ing plays a vi­tal role in de­sign­ing the area. The com­mon ar­eas on the ground floor has a 'foyer' used for vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing and has some seat­ing for vis­i­tors, while the stair­case lobby has a small study area that has been neatly demarcated into the cash and pack­ag­ing desk. The first large room on the ground floor has a small liv­ing room set-up while the room ad­ja­cent has a break­fast ta­ble (also be­ing used for mer­chan­dise dis­play) right in the cen­ter. The rooms have mer­chan­dise mainly stacked to­wards the walls and some in the cen­ter too. Ev­ery fash­ion de­signer gets his or her own in­di­vid­ual racks or as­signed spa­ces. There is room on the first floor with a huge four­poster bed, while an­other small room op­po­site to it is done up like a walk-in and yet an­other one like a boudoir.

To lend a quaint charm to this house and raise the cu­rios­ity quo­tient of the vis­i­tors, light­ing has been a very im­por­tant as­pect of in­te­rior

de­sign. Ajay shares fur­ther on this, “We have planned the light­ing in lay­ers. i.e. di­rect light­ing (to specif­i­cally fall on the gar­ments), in­di­rect light­ing (dif­fused cove light­ing for the am­bi­ence) and ac­cent light­ing (lamps, chan­de­liers, sus­pended lights etc. for decor).”

Al­though the ar­chi­tec­tural shell of the space has been left to be clas­sic, the VM is to­tally

con­tem­po­rary and very in­ter­na­tional. “We wanted our racks to be very sleek and also have dif­fer­ent rack de­signs in some of the rooms. What I per­son­ally love is the white pan­elled walls as a back­drop with a-lined racks in muted gold stand­ing on a dark wooden plat­form. Some of the niches for jew­ellery and ac­ces­sories are fully cladded in mir­ror which look very chic. Thus what worked is the mod­ern pre­sen­ta­tion with a clas­sic back drop. We wanted to un­der­stand how the fash­ion cou­ture re­tail­ing is chang­ing now and where it prob­a­bly would be in the next decade. We felt that fash­ion is just get­ting more and more 'luxe' and thus its pre­sen­ta­tion should only com­pli­ment the en­tire shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence . The in­te­ri­ors too could only com­pli­ment the mer­chan­dise put for sale and not over­power it any way,” signs off Ajay.

The new store with an en­vi­able line-up, is po­si­tioned as an iconic fash­ion des­ti­na­tion, mak­ing it the favourite stop for the city glit­terati, as well as tourists and shop­pers from all over In­dia, Bangladesh and South East Asia. Pooja Goenka, Co-owner, 85 Lans­downe agree­ing on the same shares, "To­day, 85 Lans­downe's ex­ten­sive fash­ion reper­toire prom­ises an ex­quis­ite mix of cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories, hous­ing the inim­itable col­lec­tions of em­i­nent fash­ion de­sign­ers and bal­anc­ing it with the bril­liance of new talent in the fash­ion fir­ma­ment. The clien­tele com­prises fash­ion con­scious, dis­cern­ing buy­ers from all parts of In­dia and aboard, who keep com­ing back to the store for the eclec­tic collection.”

In­te­rior De­signer

Ajay Arya, A Square De­signs

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