VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Nabamita Chat­ter­jee

“LMys­tery, in­trigue, nos­tal­gia, and hid­den dol­lops of street hu­mour set the mood in ace de­signer’s larg­erthan- life out­let at the Sabyasachi’s new flag­ship store in Mum­bai.

iv­ing is like tear­ing through a mu­seum. Not un­til later you re­ally start ab­sorb­ing what you saw, think­ing about it, look­ing it up in a book and re­mem­ber­ing - be­cause you can’t take it all in at once”, said once the fa­mous Bri­tish ac­tress and humanitarian Au­drey Hep­burn. One may ex­actly feel the same as one steps into the new Sabyasachi flag­ship store lo­cated in the heart of Mum­bai’s fine-art precinct, Kala Ghoda in Fort Mum­bai. The grace­ful fa­cade of the her­itage build­ing of Ador House on 6 K Dubash Marg is now abode to the world of Sabyasachi. Spread over 8,500 square feet and two lev­els con­nected with a stair­well, the

store is like an over­view of Sabyasachi’s vi­sion of In­dian luxury. The store has been in­tri­cately de­signed by Sabyasachi him­self with el­e­gant props spread across the space. Twenty two vin­tage hand­painted chan­de­liers by the de­signer, Chi­nese porce­lain plates col­lected from the an­tique mar­kets, a vin­tage Ira­nian car­pet, 400 ‘it­tar’ bot­tles painstak­ingly col­lected from the by­lanes of Hyderabad and Lucknow, 52 an­tique rugs lit­er­ally adorn the place. A mul­ti­tude of beau­ti­fully framed pe­riod cal­en­dar art from the 1920s, Chintz cur­tains block printed on 200 count khadi, a group of hand wound clocks, court­yard pil­lars from Gujarat and re­cy­cled colo­nial fur­ni­ture, this store is surely go­ing to give an ex­pe­ri­ence of time travel. The Burma teak and brass stair­well, big and small car­pets cut, shaped and re­sized to cre­ate a patch­work runner with brass bead­ing, from im­pos­ing his­tor­i­cal pieces to mod­ern quirk like the Amul book, clut­tered ro­mance of Parsi and Ben­gali homes, to reg­i­mented struc­ture of can­ton­ment bun­ga­lows, the store has it all. The com­mer­cial sec­tions of the store are well lit but the rest of the space is left sepia and has a tinted rose shade. The en­trance cor­ri­dor is clad in an­tique tiles and in the shiny bridal

sec­tion the small pug lamp­shade from the 1920s with a Bake­lite switch adds an eclec­tic charm to the whole area. Even the trial rooms are like the vestibules of a luxury train. The flag­ship out­let is home to Sabyasachi’s much de­sired wed­ding col­lectibles, ready to wear saris, In­dian and western for­mal and ca­sual clothes. There is a ded­i­cated sec­tion of menswear which is be­com­ing quite pop­u­lar with dis­cern­ing men seek­ing out cul­tured In­dian cloth­ing. The quirky ‘Sabyasachi by Sabyasachi’ ready-to-wear line and his ex­tremely pop­u­lar fash­ion ac­ces­sories will soon find their way into the store. The store also in­tro­duces be­spoke bridal jew­ellery, for the first time which is de­signed by Kis­han Das and Co of Hyderabad, her­itage jewellers since 1870 and cu­rated by Sabyasachi. Hence, the des­ti­na­tion be­comes a one-stop-shop for brides and grooms and ev­ery­one else look­ing for In­dian cloth­ing and jew­ellery solutions. One may browse through a world de­tached from re­al­ity, where time stands still having a cup of hand-pressed cof­fee, in a trop­i­cal cac­tus gar­den where over 270 in­door plants are kept, or pick up a book from a great col­lec­tion scat­tered all over the store and sit back and en­joy the world of Sabya. In his own words, “I want peo­ple to en­joy the spa­ces I cre­ate. Buy­ing clothes is only in­ci­den­tal”.

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