Ensemble store’s new avatar is as gorgeous as the new collections it hosts

SEP 19, 2016 | By Nupur Ashok Sarvaiya
Studded in art deco district of Lion’s Gate Mumbai, Ensemble’s flagship store first opened doors in 1987. This month, the multi-designer boutique re-launches to offer a bigger and better fashion experience with an expansive extension, conceptualised by award-winning architect Bijoy Jain in association with Krupa Patel and Vinod Narkar.
The outpost is aptly located in Great Western Building (Est. 1715), which was once home to the Governor of Mumbai and was later transformed into the Great Western Hotel. A colossal 10,000 sq ft of the establishment now serves as a mammoth space to house an impressive roster of prolific designer names.
“Our initial decision to redo the space started because we wanted to expand and give focus to contemporary fashion. We were also keen on a menswear store and a separate bridal space, thus our dialogue with Bijoy began and he pushed us to see things in a non-conventional way, which is his forte,” avers Tina Tahiliani Parikh Executive Director of Ensemble.
The area beautifully encapsulates a wide breadth of fashion ranges that are now segregated in a host of new sections of exclusive bridal wear, contemporary, Indian luxe, accessories and menswear, alongside dedicated spaces for designers Anamika Khanna and Tarun Tahiliani. There is also a special focus on a curated selection of fabrics, handlooms and weaves at the revamped store.
We love how the area steers clear from archetypical neutral shades and flirts with colours like greys and blues. Interestingly, the walls of the bridal room are done with petals from Himalayan roses, while overall the walls are coloured with vegetable and mineral dyes. Bamboos have replaced steel for the racks.
“Bijoy Jain used local Indian elements, while respecting the integrity of the space. He has tried to turn the concept of luxury around by working with local Indian materials in a luxurious way. His vision was to restore the space to its original form without compromising on its integrity. Another striking element is the use of colour in the store, for which we collaborated with Kate Dineen – the only woman specialising in the dying Rajasthani fresco-painting technique of Araash,” adds Tina.
Also read: Designer of the week: Minnie Bhatt