Ogaan opens its biggest and most beautiful outpost in Delhi
Get a tour and meet its frontliners
Gupta is the founder of Wrap, a design studio in Delhi.
On Gunjan: Silk blouse and sari; both Raw Mango. Brass and gold ring and earrings; both Tachi by Payal Khandwala.
Shastri is the founder of Delhi yoga studio Om Yogashalai.
On Mini: Silk top, Payal Khandwala. Organza skirt, Bodice. Brass and gold bracelet, Suhani Pittie.
Photographs: Nayantara Parikh. Styling: Malini Banerji. Assisted by Devika Wahal, Mehr Singh (Styling). Make-up and Hair Deepti Jain.
Vadera, the founder of AVA studio, is an interior architect.
On Alina: Beaded linen blouse, silk pants; both Peachoo.
Verma is the editorial director of lifestyle brand Nicobar’s online journal.
On Vandana: Neoprene and crepe dress, Payal Khandwala.
(Flip through the gallery for more.)
Vadera is an interior designer and the owner of Varya, a home design store in Delhi.
On Bindu: Organza blouse and cape; both Anamika Khanna. Linen sari, Anavila. Gold earrings, The Line.
Chef and founder of the now-shuttered Chez Nini, Kehar curates chef’s tables in New York.
On Nira: Silk cape and pants; both Anamika Khanna. Brass and gold ear cuff, Suhani Pittie.
(Flip through the gallery for more)
All-white interiors are the gold standard in contemporary design: clean, minimal and chic, they’re the stuff of Pinterest dreams and magazine spreads. And yet, you’d be hard-pressed to find white-on-white in New Delhi. Forget wine spills: here, thick layers of dust descend on unsuspecting sofas and imprint themselves on walls before you’ve finished moving in. But at Ogaan Malcha Marg—the brand’s fifth outpost—owner Aashti Bhartia and interior architect Alina Vadera have found a way to make white work for Delhi, not the other way around. It isn’t clinical and stark, either; here, the tones trend warm, not cool, and they serve as a serene backdrop to the Mughal-esque jewel tones of Payal Khandwala, the iridescent blacks of Peachoo, the lush blooms of Raw Mango.
“If you’re making the effort to come to a store, you want a really comfortable experience—a space where people actually want to spend time,” Bhartia says. The store is divided into several sections: an atrium illuminated by a skylight, expands into a room dedicated to jewellery, perfume and home décor. There are exclusive spaces for major designers, like Anavila, Payal Khandwala, Raw Mango and Anamika Khanna. Many of them don’t have their own stores in Delhi, so Ogaan is their showcase in the capital. As Vadera says, “It was an inclusive design process where designers added their own details—Anamika Khanna sent us a sketch of a diamond inlay floor she wanted us to incorporate. Sanjay Garg [of Raw Mango] was involved with the cabinet designs.”
There’s also plenty of room to relax at Ogaan Malcha Marg, with inviting cream-coloured couches for when you need a pause between browsing. Generous window space is complemented by plants and stark white pottery by Claymen (who also designed the ceiling lamps). And then there are the dressing rooms: spacious, well-lit and luxurious, including one dedicated to trying on heavier pieces that houses its own marble-backed sofa. Soon, a second outpost of the widely loved Coast Café will open here as well.
Both Bhartia and Vadera cite Geoffrey Bawa, the Sri Lankan architect, as the dominant influence on the store’s design. Bawa was one of the major contributors to tropical modernism, an architectural style in which modernist design is integrated into its local environment, and with regard for its cultural history. This is the sensibility at Ogaan Malcha Marg, both of the building itself and the designers it houses. The modern and structural don’t replace traditional Indian design and materials, but rather, they’re in conversation, playing off each other.
Those who still associate Delhi style with conspicuous consumption—bling, volume, logos—might be surprised with their findings in the city’s premier multi-designer store, where racks of earth-toned Péro and Eka line the atrium walls and even the formal wear is understated, forward-thinking. Bhartia believes the OTT stereotype is a little overblown, and outdated. “There are so many Delh is within Delhi. The people I see around me are more open to experimentation and more clued in to their own personal style. The idea of dressing ‘heavy’ for a wedding, which was all about full embroidery and also about literal weight, doesn’t exist so much. Great cuts and fabric with some innovation and details have become more important.”
In other stores, you might lose the complexity of a Rashmi Varma sari dress or the detail in a Payal Khandwala accordion pleat. At Ogaan Malcha Marg, though, every designer has a distinct style and here, there’s a spotlight for each of them. This attention isn’t limited to established designers—Ogaan has always introduced new or under-the-radar designers to Delhi’s fashionable public, trusting them to make discoveries in-store. As Bhartia says, “People are not so concerned about how big the brand is. They can recognise a great product without knowing the brand.” New additions to the Malcha Marg store include Vrisa, a brand that brings lively, inspired pattern-clashing to traditional anarkali kurtas accented with Kutch embroidery. We can credit Ogaan too for bringing Peachoo’s sinuously beaded, Japanese-influenced neutrals into our closets. The character and vitality of Indian designers like them is thrown into sharp relief against the store’s air of plush calm. All that white, it turns out, makes for a great canvas.
(Flip through the gallery to meet the frontliners)