Exclusive: First look inside Rahul Mishra’s stunning Delhi store
The designer's flagship is heavily influenced by his love for Paris
When Rahul Mishra first described the vision behind his first flagship store, it was atypically crisp. “A white cube,” he told me. “I’m heavily influenced by the way stores are designed in Paris, clean walls and lots of light filling the open space, so that all the attention goes to the garments.” It’s definitely a departure from the aesthetic favoured by most of his contemporaries, where the decor is often as opulent and awe-inspiring as the couture itself.
Photo: Dwaipayan Mazumdar
But one look inside Rahul Mishra’s giant white cube in Delhi’s Mehrauli neighbourhood, and you’ll see why his idea works.
A massive skylight in the roof bathes the store in light. It reflects off the pristine walls and onto the hand-embroidered lehengas and sculptural dresses that he’s most famous for. Since making history as the first Indian name to win the coveted Woolmark prize in 2014, the designer’s near-architectural approach to design has won him a loyal fan following around the world, most notably in Europe. And it’s this European sensibility that Rahul imported to his flagship store.
Photo: Dwaipayan Mazumdar
In a fortnight, the Rahul Mishra couture ’17 line will join the offerings at the store. We wouldn’t wait too long to pay a visit, if we were you.
Address: Rahul Mishra, Kalkadas Marg, Mehrauli, near Qutub Minar, Delhi
India’s most beautiful designer stores
Rahul Mishra’s debut effort joins the ranks of India’s most beautiful designer stores, from Sabyasachi’s palatial Delhi outpost to Tarun Tahiliani’s sea-facing flagship in Mumbai. Take a look.
Le Mill, Mumbai
Le Mill's Colaba outpost is housed in a heritage structure near the Gateway of India. Designed by Ashiesh Shah, the space feature large arched windows that light up the pristine white space and the racks of designer clothing from Saint Laurent, Rosie Assoulin and Indian labels like Nimish Shah.
In the private shopping room called Salon Prive, Rajasthan-inspired frescoes line the wall.
Tarun Tahiliani, Mumbai
Facing Mumbai's yacht-dotted coastline, Tarun Tahiliani's recently-refurbished 4,000 sq ft store sits a stone's throw away from the historic Taj Mahal Palace and Towers hotel.
One wall of the store is dotted with antique mirrors, drawing your attention to the floor-to-ceiling brass sculpting of the ‘T-jaal’, the ornate jaali pattern printed on the tissue paper used to wrap the clothes. Mother-of-pearl motifs, similar to that of a peacock’s plume, decorate taupe-coloured walls across one section of the store.
The restored haveli, spread over a lavish 13,500 sq ft, is divided into two sections. Naturally, Sabyasachi's booming bridal wear business dominates one wing of the store.
In the other wing — amidst ittar bottles, glass chandeliers and vintage artefacts — sits his ready-to-wear collection of saris and kurtas for women. There's also an entire floor dedicated to menswear.
Dev R Nil, Kolkata
Located in the industrial part of Kolkata, Dev R Nil's flagship store is housed in an old Port Trust warehouse. The design house was among the first to move into the space, taking up shop in 2014.
Designed by the designers themselves, the doorway features a collage of windows and doors bought from auctions. Meandering walls of different heights divide the floor into 'gullies', creating personal spaces for shoppers. As you walk through the lanes, you'll chance upon some of the designers' favourite quotes printed on the the walls.
Good Earth, Jaipur
Every Good Earth store is designed to transport you back in time, but their Jaipur outpost at the Sujan Rajmahal palace is, arguably, prettier than most. Located on the open gardens, the 857 sq ft boutique is an extension of the haveli.
Spot buta, cypress and the floral patterned borders and geometric shapes inspired by stone carvings that embellish India's forts and palaces weaved into the store's design language.
The third outpost of Chennai's most beloved multi-designer store, curated by Kiran Rao, was christened the Amethyst Room.
It also shares its space with jewellery brand, Amrapali.
Manish Malhotra, Delhi
In a 9,000 sq ft haveli in Delhi's Mehrauli neighbourhood, Manish Malhotra brings his idea of opulence to his most loyal clientele.
A palette of grey and gold dominates the space, with architectural features that include high ceilings and arched windows.
Anita Dongre, Delhi
If you were looking for the store's best design feature, you'd be torn to pick between the hand-carved marble fountains and curated Pichwai paintings at the designer's 10,000 sq ft Qutub outpost.
Mughal trellis pillars and Rajasthani watercolours provide a palatial setting for the couture garments themselves.
Ogaan, Delhi (Malcha Marg)
In Ogaan's second outpost in Delhi, each designer gets their own dedicated room to fit their individual design sensibility.