People driving past the bustling Juhu circle junction on to Gulmohar Road often found their attention captured by the ornate lehengas on mannequins flanking designer Vikram Phadnis’ eponymous Mumbai store. The space has now been replaced by Krasaa, a multi-designer studio launched by Phadnis last month. “The idea behind Krasaa was to give people a wide range to choose from, all under one roof. All the designers here have different sensibilities, thereby catering to various tastes,” says Phadnis.
The 2000-square foot space opens to stark black walls displaying racks of cocktail and pret clothing. There are tops and digitally printed dresses by Rocky S, gowns by Nandita Mahtani, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna’s signature silver and golden-sequinned shirts and dresses, gowns in flaming reds and oranges by Mandira Wirk, and a few of Amit Aggarwal’s latest pieces, including an eye-catching futuristic blue gown from his Autumn-Winter 2014 collection. Soothing linens by SS Surya and Gauri and Nainika’s monochrome neoprene pieces infuse subtlety into the space.
The wooden-floored store includes vintage-finish furniture such as cabinets, tall chairs, a filigree-framed mirror and tables that display chunky accessories such as clutches and jewellery by Valliyan by Nitya Arora, Prerto, Bansri Mehta and Made by M. “I wanted Krasaa to look welcoming, and adding chandeliers and antique furniture gave it a rustic yet warm environment,” says the designer.
The store’s lower level is home to heavily-embellished Indian pieces by Peppermint Diva, Arpita Mehta, Sonaakshi Raaj and Babita Malkani, among others. Phadnis’ own label is represented by bridal lehengas in brocade with gota-patti and zardozi, anarkalis with kundan work and floor-length jalabiyas. The menswear section includes sherwanis in jute, silk and brocade. “My label will also be bringing in newer designs — from pret to couture. We have expansion plans and the Vikram Phadnis flagship store will soon launch in a different location in the city. The work is already in progress,” says Phadnis, who is currently travelling for his debut directorial venture Nia, starring Bipasha Basu and Rana Dagubatti.
“The film is coming together well and you will be hearing more about it soon,” says the designer, whose designs will next be seen on the ramp at the finale of India Kids Fashion Week in February.