Comfortable, stylish and ‘multi-use’ seems to be the new fashion diktat and designer Payal Singhal is all set to embrace it. The new normal has made people question all that was given earlier – huge wardrobes neatly divided into work-wear, gym-wear, party dresses and much more! Now, in times of Covid-19, the scales have tipped towards sustainable fashion and here Payal Singhal Design House sees an opportunity.
“I have been at my creative best through it all,” says Payal. The day that her brand’s new showroom was to open in Bandra, Mumbai, on March 25, the lockdown was imposed. But Payal was fast to adapt, “We started social media campaigns and almost immediately began researching for masks.” While she already has a huge variety in masks, she adds, “Now who would have thought of making masks. We are soon launching softer, washable and triple-layered ones with filter.”
Her upcoming collection blends the desire for comfort, multi-use wear for a huge population that spent the lockdown in comfortable pyjamas. “Our crop top-pyjama combinations in pure crepe can multi-function as comfortable yet stylish-wear. Pair them with sneakers for a quick visit to the grocery store or add some jhumkas and mojris to turn them into perfect-wear for a wedding function.”
All in the family
Her father Dinesh Singhal, a name in the design business, and grandfather, JP Singhal, a national awardee known for his love for art and photography, Payal started early too. And one of her first designs, which also won a competition, was donned by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan! Did she ever feel intimidated by the expectations? “Never; my family spotted my inclination towards design early and at 16, I was already on my journey on something that I absolutely loved.”
Over the last two decades, Payal has stuck to her philosophy –Indian-wear with global appeal. “When I started, the fashion scene was dominated by the likes of Ritu Kumar, who aced Indian traditional-wear. I picked up designs for my generation, brought up during the 70s, the ones who did not grow up in a salwar-kameez, but denims, shorts and t-shirts.”
Her collection at The Diwali Edit, an online exhibition to be held from October 19 to November 6, 2020, by Design One, a fund-raising initiative of Sahachari Foundation, would showcase chic, multi-functional pieces. “Our association with Sahachari Foundation has been long and strong. The proceeds from Design One will go to charities supported by Sahachari Foundation and Covid-19 relief efforts.”
A Mumbai girl with having spent six years in New York, Payal feels disconnected with the light her city is shown in these days. “Who doesn’t have highs and lows in life? While I sure can identify with anyone who despite being deserving has not got the due, life is all about taking it in your stride.”
Been in close association with the industry due to her work and family connections, Payal finds it as well as the city welcoming and friendly. “Even the so-called privileged like me had to fight all the way to recognition, but things are not as bad. I feel it’s pent up frustration of the lockdown that is making people behave a certain way.”
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