V for vintage

Viange

Be it jewellery, sunglasses, bags or clothes, India is waking up to the old-world charm.

At a recent bash, Maithili Ahluwalia — the creative and entrepreneurial force behind Mumbai's fashion and design store Bungalow 8 — stood out in the star-studded gathering. While most others flaunted their favourite luxury labels, Ahluwalia made heads turn in a Victorian sequinned dress. "It is a '40s vintage dress that I picked up from a shop in New York. I teamed it with another vintage element — a Paco Rabanne bag from the '60s. I rounded off the look with a self-made taffeta turban and Chloe pumps," she recalls, adding that her look fetched her compliments and eager queries.

Given that the store is housed in a 19th century building in Colaba, Ahluwalia's affair with vintage is perhaps not so surprising. She has just introduced a line of American vintage costume jewellery — dating from the '40s to the '80s and sourced by NY-based Anita Trehan, at the store. Ahluwalia is part of a growing set of fashionistas who have fallen under the spell of vintage.

Other known names that profess their love for it are designer Arjun Khanna and and stylist-turned-designer Pernia Qureshi. Arjun recently showcased a range of vintage and retro collectibles (ties, sunglasses, barber's chairs, typewriters, bicycles and toys, among other things) at his store. During the recent Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, Qureshi had models carry her mother's vintage bags on the runway.

Mumbai-based entrepreneurs Mehek Agarwal and Karran Khanna are also cashing in on this trend. While Agarwal's label Viange is all about vintage jewellery (branded and otherwise), Karran sells items such as Ronson lighters, Dior sunglasses, Polaroid and Compur cameras and Underwood typewriters through his Facebook page, Vintage Boutique.

Agarwal, whose London-based sister Shikha helps her pick out vintage baubles from across Europe and the US, points out that they have got a great response, particularly because of fashion conscious actors such as Sonam Kapoor, Kajol and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, who often wear vintage pieces. For Karran though, the business has been good due to requests from both India and abroad.

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