The India Effect | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
June 22, 2011

The India Effect

Text by Malvika Sah. Make-up and hair by Harshada Bavkar, Jean-Claude Biguine, Mumbai

She exudes a certain sense of calm. Her love for India is astonishing and endearing all at once. Jade Jezebel Jagger chats with Verve about her life, passions and designs as she gets set with her swanky new project in the country she calls her second home

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things,” said a super chic French director, and as I wait inside the bright blue diamond-shaped cubicle at the Lodha Fiorenza show suite lobby, I couldn’t agree more. Conceptualised and designed by designer, interior architecture expert, aesthete and the ultimate boho belle, Jade Jagger, the property at first glance, blends Indian classic sumptuousness with an international urban edge.

What separates Jagger from the herd of international designers coming to the subcontinent to explore the growing markets, is the special bond she shares with India. Her iconic rockstar dad, Mick Jagger, brought her here when she was a child and it has been like a second home since. “I truly have a love affair with the country – all my designs: fashion, jewellery, interiors have a bit of India in them,” she states, in her soft yet crisp accent.

A thorough professional, she has a no-nonsense air around her. Wasting time on hair and make-up is like a cardinal sin for this workaholic mum-of-two, but chatting about her work and designs breaks the ice with her immediately. Brought up amongst “incredibly talented artists who taught me to have confidence in what I do and trust my intuition,” she always wanted to be a designer and create new stuff. In fact, as a child she would spend a lot of time rearranging furniture even at hotel rooms to suit her preferences!

For this rock progeny, “creativity is simply another way of communicating to others,” which is evident in the various business ventures she has undertaken over the years. From being a creative director for Garrard, an English company dealing in high-end jewellery to promoting a lifestyle concept called ‘Jezebel’ (her middle name), which fuses music, clothing, and lifestyle through original recordings, remixes, unplugged sessions, and fashion, to designing homes in Manhattan, Morocco and now, India.

Without a doubt, India has been a constant factor in her life over the years. While she carries a little Ganesha with her at all times for good luck, “the vivid colours, precious stones and geographic textures found in India,” are regularly seen in her designs. Recently she even bought her own plush pad in India’s hippie heaven – Goa – to spend more time here and shop at the various colourful flea markets around.

Indian Odyssey
But right now, she and her design partner, architect Tom Bartlett, are engaged in the Lodha Fiorenza project, their first in India. A part of Yoo, the international design and branding company founded by John Hitchcox and design guru Philippe Starck, the lavish project in the Mumbai suburbs is expected to be ready by 2014.

“Luxurious and modern” is the clear mantra of the swanky project that comprises of two, three and four bedroom residences and grand duplex sky villas across four towers. In another first, the tallest tower rises to a dazzling 600 feet, making it one of the tallest buildings in the country. Additional fancy superfluities like iPad controlled automations, German Poggenpohl kitchens and Italian marble flooring take its glamour quotient a notch higher.

Christened Luxo, the sensuous simplicity in the spacious rooms creates a sense of calm luxury. A dash of hot colours and decorative finishes with clean lines and the apt ‘peacock’ theme with her trademark gold embellishments does complete justice to Jagger’s bohemian reputation. “It was really about getting the right balance between the contemporary styling of Jade Jagger for Yoo whilst paying homage to the traditional textures and finishes of India – and providing a refreshing palette for the local community,” she says passionately about the project.

Space, an unheard luxury for most Mumbaiites, is just as vital in these luxe condos. “I am always thinking about my personal experiences of our everyday life and how our layouts can best accommodate everyone. I’m a big advocate of open plan living, as this allows everyone to be together,” she explains, acknowledging that these apartments are very similar to her home in London.

Both Jagger and Bartlett, who have worked together for over a decade on various projects around the world, feel that understanding the local traditions and philosophies help adapt to local sensibilities which is the key to their successful design works. The duo has a lot of respect and admiration for each other’s ideas and every home they design reflects a part of their individual personalities. “It’s about making sure that all the elements of a project, from the floor plan, colour schemes, and furnishings, work together to create a cohesive space that ultimately feels like home,” they assert in unison.

For now, realisation of the first Jade Jagger homes in Mumbai is high on their priority, which gives the foodie in Jagger ample time to try her hand at the various hot and spicy Indian recipes, yet another hidden passions that binds this bohemian designer to India.

‘Fashionable living’
Abhisheck Lodha, Managing Director, Lodha Group on redefining our homes

What is unique about Lodha Fiorenza?
Lodha Fiorenza is a statement of taste and aesthetics. It hosts signature residences where fashion finds its place in homes. With Lodha Fiorenza, the international trend in luxury residences arrives in Mumbai. This development is the result of an association between the Lodha Group and Jade Jagger for Yoo to create glamorous living spaces that are practical and comfortable.

What is the concept behind the property?
The concept is that of ‘fashionable living’. We have attempted to take fashion into our living spaces, combining design elements from across the world and blending them with unique Indian elements. Jade Jagger for Yoo has created a unique style called Luxo for all residences and common areas.

Why did you choose Jade Jagger for this project?
Jade Jagger is an eclectic designer whose expertise and sensibility is multi-faceted. What we converged on was her belief that home is all about the right mix of luxury and comfort, layers of textures and an unexpected mix of personal objects and artefacts. Jade Jagger for Yoo aims to create spaces that are inviting, relaxed and comfortable. Jade’s philosophy of design – drawing inspiration from her family and bonding in the core – and her idea of blending the global elements with the local – are something that matches with Lodha’s philosophy too.

How does her work blend with Indian sensibilities?
Jade has spent a lot of time in India and that has been one of the biggest sources of design inspiration for her. With all her interior projects, family is a big inspiration. Aesthetically this project was an opportunity to fuse contemporary furnishings and fabrics while paying homage to all the beautiful jewel tones that are so iconic in India. Her unique style of adapting her designs to the local culture is a great asset. She has carefully blended design elements such as Spanish marble, beaten metal panels and rose wood with Indian cultural elements like peacock feathers, geometric patterns and silk fabric for Luxo.

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