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Hidden gem

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bansri Mehta, an alumnus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, opens her flagship store at Kala Ghoda

One of the joys of walking down the winding narrow lanes of Kala Ghoda is stumbling upon new and hidden gems—upmarket stores, fancy cafes—all set in the vibrancy of Mumbai’s art district. Now, at Ropewalk Lane, right opposite the Kala Ghoda Café and two buildings away from the famous seafood restaurant Trishna, is ‘Bansri’, Bansri Mehta’s bespoke flagship jewellery store.

The beautifully-designed lounge-style store at 115, Commerce House is easy to miss. There are no signboards, and even when you take the elevator to go upstairs, the sign above the door is barely a whisper.

Inside, you will find a cosy gallery format—the idea is to be able to experiment, the designer says. The walls are clad with fabric, giving it an opulent air and a unique backdrop, and the space itself is divided into four zones, to do justice to the four themes she follows in her designs—The Black Zone, The Gold Zone, The White Zone and the Ocean/Sky Zone. A concrete runway holds the zones together with tall mirrors that let you admire how the jewellery looks on you. The pop-up format gives her the flexibility to curate designers and artisan products such as art, clothing, accessories, men’s wear and home décor.

Bansri, an alumnus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, California, spent her formative design years collaborating with clothing designers, styling their lines with her jewellery and creating unique ensembles. 

It was this exposure that led her to want to launch her own line, and her first collection, 'Joillerie' was born, reminiscent of the Murano, Italian style of design but with modern references. Bansri says it was sold in chic boutiques in Los Angeles to the likes of Bettina Duncan, Fred Segal, Kitson which are sought after by the who’s-who of California. Her creations featured in The Good Wife, Reign, Revenge and Gossip Girl, and was recognised, she says, by celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. She then shifted base to Mumbai and set up an appointment-only ‘boudoir’ and counted Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Suhana Khan and Malaika Arora Khan among those who wore her pieces.

The statement jewellery at her new store offers both chunky and delicate designs to suit all tastes. You can layer the pieces and stack a story, or flaunt eye-catching oversized designs that stand out on their own. The designer currently has two lines, ‘B by Bansri’ and ‘Luxe by Bansri’. The Luxe range includes Amazon-inspired jewellery crafted with natural stone, pearls and crystals; Serpentine, in lacquer and enamel with Swarovski and much more. The Get Layered range of detachable pieces is a fusion of crystals with a burst of vibrancy that you can mix and match. B by Basri offers the Starburst range of modern silhouettes; the Black + Gold inspired by the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi; Vintage Vogue with 19th-century inspired chokers and tassels and more.  Some of the pieces are carefully mismatched for a unique look.

Bansri will soon set up home in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. There is also a bridal collection taking shape for the festive season, designed for destination parties and bridesmaids.

Prices at Bansri range from Rs 1800 – Rs 16,000.

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