12Fashion Goes east
Home to some of the country’s coolest designers, and now a swanky new LUXURY MALL, the way KOLKATA shops is about to change, says fashion designer NAVONIL DAS
GROWING UP IN CALCUTTA, beautiful weaves from the streets of Gariahat in the south of the city (the then It shopping destination for the Bengali gentry) were a staple in our lives. My earliest memories are that of accompanying my mother on her sari shopping trips, where I learnt about the subtle nuances of traditional textiles. This year, as we are about to open the Dev r Nil flagship store in Kolkata, it’s easy to see how the city has grown by leaps and bounds. We are on our way to becoming one of the most sought-after shopping destinations in the region. Our store, opening at a one-of-a-kind Old Port trust warehouse on Remount Road close to Alipore, is one of many new options the city has to offer. With likes of Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna, and Kiran Uttam Ghosh (who will also open her studio in Ballygunge soon) making Kolkata famous, the city is set to turn into a shopper’s delight. Young designers like Nupur Kanoi, Amalraj Sengupta, Kallol Datta, Shantanu Goenka, and Paromita Banerjee are also strong
on the shoppers’ radars, and hopefully, will be inspired to open their own stores soon. In a subtle way, Stylefile, an art and fashion exhibition organised by Sumedha Saraogi and Preeti Goenka that began in 2002, was the starting point of this positive fashion shift. Then, in 2006, 85 Landsdowne opened at a historic building renovated and re-styled as a multidesigner outlet that quickly became a favourite of Kolkata’s fashionforward elite. It suffered a fire in April last year, but is set to reopen in an all-new avatar next month. But the biggest of them all is the 7.3-lakh sq ft luxury mall by the RPG Goenka Group in the heart of the city, the Quest Mall. Brands like Canali, Gucci, Omega, Rolex, Burberry, Paul Smith, Furla, Emporio Armani, and Michael Kors, to name a few, will soon open in this mall. As I’ve heard many people remark, it’s the Emporio of Kolkata. From the best of Indian fashion to the top global trends, all will be available in our charming old city.
From left: Designers Debarghya Bairagi and Navonil Das of Dev r Nil, and (on right) Nupur Kanoi, with a model, shot in Kolkata for Bazaar by Colston Julian The model wears a Dev r Nil top, ` 25,000, Kiran Uttam Ghosh dupatta, Pankaj & Nidhi skirt, `...
A rendering of Dev r Nil’s store