As Singhal unveils her new demi-couture collection—Fashion in Motion— at her flagship store at the Dhan Mill, she shares a glimpse into the highs, lows and leanings, which have shaped her journey.
As Singhal unveils her new demi-couture collection—Fashion in Motion— at her flagship store at the Dhan Mill, she shares a glimpse into the highs, lows and leanings, which have shaped her journey. Photo | Express

Evolution by design: Florals, 3D prints and more!

Celebrating a quarter century in fashion, Payal Singhal’s new collection embodies the transformation of her career over the years

Fashion designer Payal Singhal hits the ground running the moment she steps into her office every morning. A no-nonsense person, she expects everyone to get on with their responsibilities with the same sincerity. No personal calls are entertained, neither does she indulge in casual banter at work. For the 47-year-old founder of her eponymous label based in Delhi, efficiency is a way of life, and this focus has helped her navigate the demands of the business for the last 25 years. As Singhal unveils her new demi-couture collection—Fashion in Motion— at her flagship store at the Dhan Mill, she shares a glimpse into the highs, lows and leanings, which have shaped her journey.

That change is the only constant has been the designer’s greatest realisation, a learning that is reflected in the latest collection. Capturing the transition from winter to spring, it celebrates life’s continuous restorative process. In a way, it mirror’s Singhal’s own professional journey, which has seen both disappointment as well as success. “In this moving ahead, I found resilience and renewal, a reminder of the hope that each new day brings. We see this in nature too; how with every season, a fresh set of sentiments emerge, guiding us through the changing ebb and flow of life,” she says.

Heavy on florals—in prints, 3D embellishments and appliqué work—the range portrays the essence of movement through the tassels, fringes and panelled skirts. “Staying true to the theme, we have worked with diaphanous fabrics such as organza, georgettes and lamé. The colour palette comprises an array of chalky pastels, indicative of spring, and provides a soft canvas for the artistry that unfolds in hanging beads, thread work, leather and studs,” she says. There are bandeau cholis with panelled skirts, ruffled shararas with backless cholis, and tube skirts with hanging beads, which make for an ultra-modern aesthetic.

Singhal’s love for apparel design is rooted in her childhood that was steeped in fashion, art, film and photography. “Being around my grandfather, JP Singhal, known for his artistic prowess, and father, Dinesh Singhal, who started the retail chain store, London Fashions, it was only natural for me to thread a creative path.

I pursued apparel manufacturing and design at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, which laid the foundation for my time at Parsons School of Design, New York,” she says.

The designer set out on her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 21, when she launched her label. She had a crystal clear vision for her brand even at that tender age: a reflection of modern India, a rapidly evolving nation, which embraced global influences with archetypal local flair. “Most of all, it would be approachable and real.

Payal Singhal
Payal Singhal

I did not want to alienate anyone or create barriers between aspiration and affordability, which is why, while we have a more expensive bridal wear segment, we also have prêt and resort wear lines. The addition of accessories, jewellery and home products is another way of being inclusive,” says Singhal.

The younger version of her enjoyed music and dance besides all things fashion, but now her interests veer more towards slower pursuits such as painting, reading and meditating. She feels freer than she ever has, deciding her pace of life and work; just the thing she had always hoped for when she reached the silver milestone.

Available at: Dhan Mill Compound, New Delhi

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