Of all the shops that nestle in the middle lane of Khan Market,a pink rose motif sticking out like a little flag makes number 64 stand out. An arty bamboo mannequin clad in a yellow kurta suggests all are welcome. The bright pink rose the logo of Anupama Dayals brand Anupamaa appears at unexpected corners of the little store. It even finds a place on the pink cover of the designers iPad.
When we walked in on a weekday afternoon,Dayal was grabbing a quick lunch. She surrendered it and stood by as we explored. At 100 square feet,the store is very tiny,with just enough room to accommodate the designer,her two assistants and a customer or two. To make up for the constraints of the small space,Dayal has quirked it up the aquamarine walls,huge hibiscus painted on the one behind where she sits and hand painted (by herself) floral motifs on the ceiling. It compliments her boho designs hung on two parallel rows in the shop.
If I wasnt a designer,Id be a naturalist,I love flowers, says Dayal,adding that Anupamaa is a very intimate brand. Its for this very reason that the designer decided to hand paint the ceiling herself. The intimacy comes out clearly in other facets of the shop the customised hangers whose pegs from which tiny motifs (of elephants,brinjals,corals and so on) hang are wrapped in multicoloured cloth,the bright red curtain hiding the quaint trial room painted with pink roses,and lastly,the fact that the shop is located in Khan Market instead of a mall. Dayal says,This is a folksy shop,it would be such an oddity in a swish mall.
Dayals love for nature is evident in her garments. There is no concept of a fitted garment in her designs loose tops,flowy dresses and long kaftans in zany shades of orange,pink and green are often punctuated with large floral motifs and butterflies. The shop throws up her signature designs her trademark pashminas covered with clay and subsequently baked with interesting block prints,kurtis with motifs of turtles and saris coupled with jackets. Priced at Rs 4,000 to 12,000,they fall in tune with the Khan Market prices. There are accessories as well,including necklaces,bracelets and earrings,which the designer suggests should be coupled with her dresses. For those who cant afford both,the folksy necklace,made of wool,paper and corals,is much lighter on the pocket.