Ms. Dongre’s new flagship store is nothing short of a paradise, adorned with traditional Rajasthani craft and a luxurious ambience.
February 28, 2023: Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda has its own charm - from beguiling local artscapes to various exclusive designer stores. Immersing deep in its art and architecture, Indian designer Anita Dongre opened her new flagship store right in the heart of Mumbai. Located across the street from Jehangir Art Gallery and the historic David Sassoon library, the quaint Sassoon Building has been exquisitely transformed into the designer’s new fashion abode.
The 200-year-old building reflects the designer’s vision of blending old world characteristics with contemporary designs by bringing a subtle hint of Rajasthan in the store. Just like Ms. Dongre’s unique and elegant designs, the store also presents timeless lush green and gold hand painted walls that hold 200-year-old exposed teak beams. From stained glass painstakingly recreated from old pictures, tiles salvaged from the original interior to the elegant timber staircase, the building has been restored to embody its original allure while Ms. Dongre’s vision breathes new life into the house.
The designer says, “Bombay is my home, and the Sassoon building has witnessed every change of this city. In restoring this building, we wanted to keep as much of its original form as we could – stained glass windows, timber beams and staircase, the tiles… I wanted to bring back the luxury of the 19th century and have it meet the effortless grace of the 21st century. It’s been a particular joy to realize a vision that mixes Indian crafts with colonial architecture against art that celebrates nature’s bounty. I’m excited to watch people experience this space through all their senses– sight, smell, touch, and heart.”
The ground floor features jewellery and Ms. Dongre’s newly launched vegan accessories, set against custom designed wallpaper that draws from the designer’s embroidery patterns, while the third floor accommodates her glittering lehengas against a thikri wall that is illuminated with theatrical light to transport the visitors to the world of grandeur and opulence. This immensely creative space boasts of a quiet gallery to look over the Rajabai clock tower and Kala Ghoda’s vintage architecture.
- By Pritha Debroy