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Fashion
October 19, 2016

Take a Tour of Payal Khandwala’s New Store

Text by Wyanet Vaz. Images by Prateek Patel and Payal Khandwala

“I handpainted the lotus murals on both the gold and silver leaf walls.” The designer takes us through the making of her store

The idea…
“Our second flagship store was designed to maintain the essence of Bandra’s characteristic local Koli community. I imagined a space that is stark and contemporary yet relevant to its organic surroundings.”

The process…
“I think our distinct colour-blocked clothes are best set against a dark neutral surrounding. So although I’m no architect I tried my best to create a physical space that was in perfect harmony with the clothes, our aesthetic and our philosophy.
From the carbon-stained cement walls, the wenge flooring and carefully procured fittings to the custom made furniture, it was envisioned to be a mirror of the earlier store albeit with its own personality. Keeping this in mind I hand-painted the lotus murals, on  both the gold and silver leaf walls in contrast to the flying peacocks at our Colaba store.
I felt this artwork gave me a chance to revisit my paintbox but also softened the space a bit, made it a bit more feminine, less intimidating. I also picked it because apart from being our national flower, the lotus is a strong spiritual and mythological symbol and a proud motif of our own personal ‘Make In India’ story.”

The struggle…
“I’m not a trained architect so I had to learn many things on the job like roofing, dealing with leaks after the torrential downpour, structural changes, plumbing, how to keep ash black walls dust free, how to dodge the neighborhood cat, lighting, sealants on flooring, outdoor paint versus indoor paint… it’s a long list. And to do all this on a budget, in the monsoons and in two months was definitely challenging, to say the least!”

The final touch…
“To me, the most memorable part of setting up this store was the painting of the murals. It was the most relaxing part of the project. I had total control as painting is my first love. There was soft music playing, my daughter was painting in her book right next to me and it all seemed to come together. To me, it was like the full stop this sentence needed.”

The offline story…
“Online shopping gives you the comfort of shopping from your sofa so in that regard it is no competition to a physical store. Having said that you can’t compare it to personalised service, humans to answer questions, fitting rooms, and most importantly a shopping experience that communicates our brand’s house aesthetic. The sights, sounds, colour, ability to touch and feel the fabric and drape is a far more enriching experience in my opinion than clicking on your laptop, and then hoping you don’t have to struggle with returns!”

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