Meharchand Market is exceptional in central Delhi. It is a quiet, broad street, overshadowed by trees that juxtapose old and new, traditional and contemporary.
In its new space at Meherchand Market, Shades of India has separated apparel and accessories from home. All the interiors have been designed by Mandeep Nagi, Design Director, The interior is minimalist with an emphasis on open areas. As you enter you look across to a shoji screen in wood and fabric that slides like the shutter in an old Japanese home. The walls are white and bare to allow the colours of the clothes and accessories to find their voice. The other elements are cement, iron and glass.
On show here is Bebali, a festive collection in rich colours and fabrics that draw for inspiration on the beauty of Indonesian motifs and design. The festive women’s collection uses luxurious fabrics in silk and velvet in intense hues such as mahogany, cinnamon and fuschia complemented with hints of lustre through zari work and gold foiling to radiate a sense of opulence. The collection includes versatile separates of classic sarees, contemporary kurtas and playful shararas in ethereal silhouettes that are comfortable and reflect the festive season.
Along with the women’s collection of apparel and accessories, Shades of India is launching for the first time a men’s clothing collection. This has been designed in collaboration with Anupam Poddar, a collector and curator of contemporary art who has a passion for textiles. Anupam believes men – even the more conservative – are ready to experiment with their clothing. The collection breaks away from the traditional but respects that men are still less willing to take risks than women. Together they have brought innovation to shirts, kurtas, waistcoats, jackets and men’s accessories.
The Home store is a few steps from the apparel and accessories. They form different elements of the Shades of India shop facade that will now be a dominant feature of Meharchand Market. The heart of the store remains textiles for interiors. But to this have been added iconic items that can give an unexpected touch to a home.
Textile hangings or handcrafted jewellery are treated as works of art. Ceramics – many again inspired by Japan – give an unexpected touch to a shelf or a table. The antique is mixed with the contemporary. Textures are contrasted by colour or by mixing masculine or feminine. The message is that a room or an interior space can be re-thought to provide the unexpected, the imaginative and the creative.
With the introduction of menswear, the complaint that ‘you have nothing for men’ is laid to rest. The collection has both informal easy-to-wear clothes and also formal wear for a party or a special occasion. It is designed for men who want to experiment, but still be comfortable in their clothes. It can be worn by men of all ages from the young to the father, who want to look unique and stand out from the crowd. The collection includes shirts, kurtas, jackets, waistcoats and men’s accessories from scarves and shawls to men’s pocket squares and cufflinks.
Shades of India’s new Home store emphasises comfort, ease of living, elegance achieved with a touch of casualness, contrasts in colour and textures, a mixture of the antique and contemporary, the revelation of the unexpected. Cushions become art pieces that can highlight a sofa or a sofa or a bed. Besides a new collection of textiles, there are chosen ceramics inspired by Japan there are decorative items in beautiful glazes of crystal blue, earthy brown and black for use on the table or as gifts. There is earthenware pottery from the North East which again has the flavour of nature and of organic ware treasured in Japan. There are neck pieces in jute and metal which can be used as artworks on a table as easily as decorative jewellery. There are wooden platters cut from a trunk with uneven rings of age.