Delhi based Designer Samant Chauhan, known to create exceptional silhouettes with hand-woven textile, launched his flagship store at Roosevelt House, opposite Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai. He now unveils his new collection BOMBAY – ‘Do Not Allow Me To Forget You’, which is an ode to Mumbai city at the Mumbai Store.
The winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award by the British Council (2009) has a collection that is inspired by his memories of the city. Steelwork sunsets, orange skies that dissolve into black and then become sky blue, the deep dark lanes of Kamathipura, the ice blue waves that hit the shore and black and white old frames serve as inspiration for the Bombay line some of which will be first seen in the new store. The palette includes unexplored hues that the label has not played around with, so far. Silhouettes like open jackets and pants, gowns, organza silk kaftans, period dresses are few highlights. The semi-couture range is lightweight and apt for upcoming occasions.
Samant Chauhan says, ‘A few years ago, as I took a stroll down the streets of Colaba, I felt an immediate connection with the city. The ambience and soul of the place immediately struck a chord with me. I could easily relate it to my label, my work and wished to have a store here ever since. To see it come to life is beautiful. My work is inspired by an era rich in art, culture and heritage and Colaba, Old Mumbai resonates with these very qualities. Also, the collection in my store will bring the essence of these qualities to life. It is now time to harness the black subjectivity of our lives and times and dismantle the ‘negative’ connotation of black as ‘inauspicious’ in certain cultures and tell a human story of hope and resilience values of this city, through the collection.’ He is very keen on photography and has recently compiled a diary with his image inspirations from Bombay, a city he has been fascinated and smitten with.
Showcasing collections that preserve the influence of his native Bhagalpuri silk, Samant’s store features a range of gowns and indo-western outfits, each garment is hand woven and adorned with the finest embroideries that bring out quality in Indian craftsmanship. His label has been at the forefront of reviving and reinventing Bhagalpuri silk, and now is foraying into reinterpreting Muga Silk of Assam, which is facing a threat of extinction. As a couture line, the brand works with hand-woven textiles and has been involved in trying to revive handloom textiles in India. The ace designer has presented his SS’09 collection as a solo show at carousel Du Louvre, Paris
The store exclusively reflects the architectural style and aesthetic sense that encapsulates the neighbourhood. Epitomising the rich culture that prevailed in Mumbai in earlier eras, specifically the Colonial period, and taking the influence of the surrounding architectural wonders, the interiors of the quaint 700 square feet store set the right ambience for one looking to journey back in time and hugely appeals to the Mumbai traveller and clientele. The creative and sophisticated use of restored teakwood, brickwork and even the switchboards reflect the superior quality of craftsmanship that dominated the city during the Colonial period.
Samant Chauhan’s line ‘Its A Glitch’ and ‘Total Art’ is also currently showcasing at Galeries Lafayette, Dubai.