Monica Shah Talks About Designing The New Jade Store | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
April 25, 2017

Monica Shah Talks About Designing The New Jade Store

Text by Tanisha Choudhury

The brand’s new flagship store in Mumbai is like a veritable art gallery that also sells couture…

Can you tell us a little about the concept behind the store?
“The Jade flagship in Mumbai is conceptualised as a sanctuary for today’s couture patron. The space has been conceived in keeping with Jade’s DNA of taking inspiration from India’s heritage and reinventing the use of age-old techniques to make it relevant for today’s brides. The handcrafted artifacts are given their due as installations rather than being integrated as a part of the interiors, so one feels as though they are walking through an art gallery.”

What were your inspirations?
“The nuances of creativity, space and time have always intrigued us. Why a certain craftsmanship is born and thrives over centuries only in a specific region? This fascination played an important role in outlining the concept when we set out to design this space. Handcrafted objects of art of varied origins, each with a unique history of its own have found their way to the store.”

Can you narrate a special moment from the making of the store?
“The incident that sticks out the most is the arrival of a vintage handcrafted jharokha which is from a traditional wooden haveli. We were informed that this haveli was being brought down and received a photograph of this rare piece which we instantly fell in love with. We hadn’t given the dimensions much of a thought, but it turned out to be enormous! Using it was going to be quite a challenge but it all worked out and now it is our pièce de résistance.”

What was the biggest challenge in putting together this space?
“We’ve used some heritage objects that are extremely powerful. We wanted to ensure that each one was given its due importance without overpowering the rest of the pieces and our collection. To achieve this balance was our biggest challenge. I think we’ve managed to achieve that balance, as each piece comes into play beautifully and enjoys focus within its section.”

The store has a collection of heritage textiles on display. Can you tell us a little about these?
“The heritage textiles on display are from our personal collection of fabrics gathered from all over the world. They include hand weaved, hand embroidered, block printed and tie-dyed masterpieces.”

Where are the handicrafts in the store from? How do they merge with the Jade aesthetic?
“Each artifact at the store has a story of its own. They have been handpicked by us over the years during our travels to different parts of India. As a result, no two sections of the store are the same and it becomes a journey of discovery as you are led from one section to another.”

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