High Point

Tarun Tahiliani’s new couture studio is a crash course in luxury.

Written by Namrata Zakaria | Published: October 18, 2013 3:16 am

A warehouse in Chattarpur,Delhi,is hardly the place you’d go shopping for expensive clothes. But then this is an elaborate boutique from the man who opened India’s first designer store,Ensemble,on the street across Mumbai’s shipping docks. It eventually paved the way for European fashion labels such as Hermes and Christian Louboutin to follow suit. Tarun Tahiliani is expected to recreate the magic with his first “couture studio”,which he opened last Friday. Clearly,he wants to provide the experience of extravagance .

“Space is the first definition of luxury,” says the seasoned fashion designer and sometimes architect. This by-appointment space is a neat spread at 6,500 sq ft of high ceiling,layered tones of beige and ecru,a behemoth jharokha facia and cut-glass armoires where the heavyweight lehengas are for viewing.

This is a “proper” couture destination,in the European sense of the word. No aspect of specialty custom-making is spared here. A small army of display mannequins welcome you wearing Tahiliani’s newest show pieces; this is his look-book. A client can walk in and choose his or her colours,the finest fabrics,and exquisite embroidery and beading patterns. Measurements are taken as thoroughly as is possible. Like a traditional couture or bespoke studio,a toile is then created. A toile is a “test garment” made in linen especially required for perfect tailoring. The three fitting rooms here are each the size of drawing rooms,with lighting options for daylight and soirees.

There’s a variety of wedding lehengas,with each one more splendorous than the other,in favourite reds and bordeaux,but also duck-egg greys. There are also gowns in shades of gold and beige,as many modernists are choosing. The prices start at Rs 3 lakh,“but can go up to as much as you want to take them”,the designer says with a smile.

“People who come to us are not always brides and their families,often they are just looking for a very special and stylised look,” says Tahiliani. The day before the opening,Tahiliani says a 40-year-old lady,walked in and shopped up a floor-sweeping embroidered gown with a mermaid tail,and a multi-layered lehenga with pearl embroideries to wear for someone else’s wedding.

Tahiliani will open a Mumbai studio this week above his store at Villar Ville,Apollo Bunder.


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