In a world teeming with chaos, Verandah by Anjali isn’t afraid to press pause and slow down the hamster wheel of fashion. It stands to reason that the label’s newest outpost should reform an industrial area into a homely atelier, boldly juxtaposing the corporate humdrum in the heart of Lower Parel’s business district. “Keeping in mind the discerning tastes of our clients and the fact that I’m a working mum of two young kids, I wanted to create a cosy space within this office complex that spoke my language and was evocative of the relaxed nature of the label. The space is cosy and inviting, much how I like my home to be,” designer Anjali Patel says.
The brooding split-level industrial unit has since been transformed under Patel’s creative supervision to make room for personal mementos from her travels. One by one, the false ceilings and walls came apart to be replaced by glass and exposed i-beams, with airy fabrics that reinforce her dedication to upcycling. “I vowed to stay true to my belief that the old can be rebottled into new, and with a little imagination, the place has come alive with a breezy vibe. The dining table is refurbished with a pine top and seasoned mango wood, complemented with old teak chairs from home. Antique kilims, collected on my travels to Turkey, also find a home here. But one of my favourite pieces in the space would be the ‘bling dhurrie’, a handcrafted rug made with hemp and silver gota by a Jaipur-based artist, Elizabeth,” she elaborates.
Patel’s love for whimsy means that artwork from her young toddlers shares space with exclusive pieces from international art galleries. “As the finishing touch, we added in art by my kids, Alekha and Sumer, alongside prized posters and limited-edition prints from my favourite flea markets and art galleries in Paris, Vietnam, New York and Ceylon of Malewitch, Klee and Kandinsky. A special work is a pen and ink drawing of me by my mum, alongside a much needed Nespresso machine and Netflix for dire babysitting needs!” she divulges.
The label’s new address will house the main collection this season, as well as limited edition pieces from their main print stories. “Bespoke pieces for clients is something that I still love to do, and this space allows me to slow down and do what I love, apart from scaling up the business. The idea is for clients to come by appointment and get a feel of our entire range of work as opposed to a rack in store,” she adds.
And while we have crossed the halfway mark on 2018, Patel is only just getting started. Next on the cards for the label is the resort/spring ’19 collection inspired by the designer’s 150-year-old family home in Mumbai as a tribute to all things vintage. You are also going to want to watch out for the launch of Verandah Swim, a supplementary line made with recycled polyester and the finest grade Italian fabrics at a sustainable water neutral facility. But above all, Patel hopes that, “Our work grows slowly, organically and sustainably with the fairest and most transparent trade practices, and is worn with love.”
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