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Last month, after a much-celebrated launch of her furniture line at the Turf Club Members Enclosure in Mumbai's Mahalaxmi, furniture designer Anjali Mody was faced with a dilemma about where she'd want to continue to display her line in the city. "Inspired by the city and its quirkiness, my furniture line is called Double Decker. Accordingly, I wanted a place where I'd put up my designs to reflect a certain grunginess that reflects in my creations," she says.
This decision translated into Mody showcasing her line at a 4,000 square feet space in Lower Parel's Peninsula Corporate Park in Mumbai. This corporate hub is not known for its lifestyle offerings, but Mody chose to display her wares at its FCH House, which is a "godown-like-space". Mody is part of a growing set of fashion and interior designers who prefer unconventional venues for their shows. A recent trunk show — aptly titled "Trunk show at Tiffanys" — took place at a Colaba bungalow. Similarly, another bungalow and a rice mill have been converted into a fashion and a décor store, Mozaic and Le Mill respectively. That apart, an airplane hangar was turned into a fashion ramp (for the launch of Van Heusen's menswear range).
The main reason for the popularity of such venues is the need to be different and to have a space that ties in with the brand's core philosophy. Take the case of designer duo Natasha Sabarhwal-Mehta and Khushnu Kapadia, who wanted to underline the vintage quality of their creations. They zeroed in on a quaint space called Tiffanys Tile boutique for their trunk show . "Since our show was aimed at fashion lovers, particularly from South Mumbai, it made sense to have it at a heritage location," says Sabarhwal-Mehta.
A similar reason made furniture designer Shilpa Gupta convert a bungalow at Turner Road, Bandra, into a store. "When I started out in 2010, I wanted to convey the design story of an entire home in my store. This meant that I had to have separate rooms in which I could showcase different kinds of furniture. Mozaic fit the bill with its 12 rooms spread over two storeys. Now, one of its rooms has been turned into the 'fashion room'," says Gupta.