SHOPAHOLICS now have a new venue to get their fix, with the relaunch of the popular shopping arena, The Collonnade at The Leela Galleria. Conceptualised and curated by Mickey Bawa of In2 Luxury, the company behind Bergamo in Chennai, as well as other retail spaces at the different Leela properties, he describes the city’s newest shopping destination as a “boutique mall”.
“It’s a beautiful space. But over the years, the stop gap approach of doing things coupled with the mushrooming of numerous malls across the city caused it to lose some of its cache. We have now come up with a clear cut vision, which we have executed successfully,” Bawa explains.
Having originally planned to bring in the likes of Hermes and Gucci, Bawa along with Amruda Nair, the corporate asset management head of The Leela Group, decided to change tracks and stay with Indian luxury brands, instead. While they are open to international names setting up shop at The Collonnade, the focus for now is on bringing in the best designer labels around India .
“We wanted to make it a one-of-a-kind destination in Bangalore. So we’ve signed on about 15 new designers who do not have outlets anywhere else in the city and do not plan to in the near future,” Bawa reveals. With Abraham and Thakore having opened their doors last month, a few other designers joining them are Shivan & Narresh, Namrata Joshipura, Neeru Kumar, Pankaj & Nidhi, AKFD and Portside Café — exquisite handcrafted leather furniture and Andraab — pure Kashmiri pashmina creations.
Located in the lower basement, Bawa felt that the most challenging part of the journey was getting designers to agree to the location. “But once they understood the concept, it wasn’t difficult to convince them. At a place like The Leela, no space is undesirable,” he explains, adding, “I also let the designers plan the layout of the floor, so they could choose their neighbours,” he shares.
Currently limited to shopping, the venue is set to get a bigger makeover with Bawa adding a cafe, ice cream parlour and micro brewery in a few months. “It’s a women-centric space, a place where they can come with their girlfriends for a spot of shopping and then just relax over a cup of coffee or lunch,” Bawa tells us.
At The Leela Palace, Old Airport Road.
– Rashmi Rajagopal and Aakanksha Devi
Pankaj & Nidhi
Known for their creative and innovative garments,
Pankaj & Nidhi’s other most notable feature is their liberal use of colour. The duo weaves culture into their garments that are contemporary and original. They open with the eclectic House of Cards collection featuring a mix of graphic prints and patterns inspired by playing cards with
lots of applique and embroidery.
Founded by Ayush Kasliwal, an alumnus of the National Institute of Design – Ahmedabad, Ayush Kasliwal Furniture Design (AKFD) offers sustainable furniture alongside lifestyle products that come with a fresh twist to traditional crafts, knick-knacks and home accessories. They also stock textiles so you can refresh your entire home with expertise from Kasliwal, the only Indian designer to license products to MATER, a Danish ethical design house. The minimalistic and edgy range covers lamps, furniture,
centre pieces, wall hangings and even limited tableware.
Known for their fine leather, PortsideCafé brings their trademark creations to The Collonnade. By treating the leather with unique colouring technique, they use the natural marks and blemishes to highlight the real beauty of leather. You can expect desks, tables, storage chests and bar counters in the furniture section. Plus mirrors, jewellery boxes, crafted games like Backgammon, chess and bridge, lamps and dinnerware.
Shivan & Narresh
India’s first luxury swimwear brand, Shivan & Narresh is synonymous with glamour and sophistication. Right from their pret line to their made-to-measure services, the garments come with bold colours and handcrafted comfort to cater to the global Indian woman. The new flagship store will stock its cruise resort collection inspired by Italian artist Lucio Fontana. The swim and resort wear features slashed swimsuits, pareos, sarongs, shirts and palazzos in flossy pinks and flamingo orange with
Tulsi by Neeru Kumar
Renowned for her take on traditional Indian weaves and silhouettes, Kumar stocks a range of handwoven scarves and saris in varying colours, textures and techniques. Choose from cotton, linen, silk and wool with hand-woven jacquards, kantha stitch on silk and shibori techniques on silk and wool. Her ready-to-wear garments, while not being too fashion centric are innovative and contemporary nonetheless. The range also includes a selection of vintage home textiles.
Joshipura stocks signature red-carpet gowns and short bodycon dresses, jumpsuits, shorts and bodysuits for brunches and jackets to take you from workdays to party nights. The latest collection, elecTRON, has futuristic patterns from Artificial Intelligence, brain mapping, and neural patterns on perforated leather, shimmer metallic fabrics and neoprene. Look out for her trademark colour contrasts and embellishments.