Payal Singhal Celebrates Twenty Years of her Label at Lakme Fashion Week WF 2019
Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar Showstoppers for Payal Singhal
Payal Singhal celebrated twenty years of her eponymous label at Lakme Fashion Week with her show titled #PS20. Ever since its launch in 1999, the Payal Singhal brand has stood for a contemporary reimagination of Indian bridal and occasion wear; where tradition and historical references are revisited with an international perspective. Now that is quite an acomplishment! I would say rock on another 20 years Payal you have such an eye for creativity!
While Gypsies and Bohemia are the starting point of her inspirations this season, while staying true to the overall DNA of the brand which is India modern with a touch of world heritage culture and art.
Actors Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar walked the ramp as showstoppers for Payal Singhal in a coordinated ecru Georgette Kurta and lehnga set with colorful neon wool floral zardosi work.
‘Shibani Dandekar and Farhan Akhtar were the perfect muses for this collection because they both imbibe this bohemian vibe. Shibani was mainly my choice as she has been the eternal PS Muse and walked for my debut show at Lakme fashion Week so it was only apt for her to walk for the 20 Year Anniversary Show. Since we launched PS Men this year it has been a dream to have Farhan as a PS Man he has the cool boho vibe that our clothes have and is a dream show stopper to have” says Payal Singhal.
While Payal Singhal is renowned for her modern Indian silhouettes, the design vocabulary is never without a touch of nostalgia, often inspired by lands far and wide. The #PS20 collection encapsulates this sensibility with its mood board of throwback styles from the wardrobes of 10th century gypsies—merry vagabonds who belonged not to regions and borders but to their shared stories.
“The original bohemians were really just artists who went against norm. They were liberal thinkers and dressers; often drawn to bold colours, indigenous crafts and textures. They also pioneered mixing and matching. But the collection goes beyond simply referencing their lifestyle to celebrating it. This forward-thinking mindset, deeply inspired by art and culture, has been the raison d’etre of the brand for two decades now,” says the designer.
This folklore inspiration is further spruced with elements from Islamic architecture, and cultural cues from the crafts and bazaars of Turkey and Morocco.
Bohemians are not just the inspiration for the collection but also represent the woman Singhal started designing for—ahead of her times, and thriving on unconventionality. Moreover, it is an accurate reflection of the #PSGirl of today—a millennial wandress; free-spirited, curious and always on the move.
“The #PSGirl’s come-as-you-are mindset is not an attention-seeking act of rebellion but an expression of her individuality. She has never been one to toe the line. She is not bound by borders either, rather is a world citizen. Hence the collection is international too; very Camp meets Coachella.”
Singhal has worked extensively with georgette and organza to create soft, structured looks while innovating with the silhouettes—think jacket cholis, lehenga salwars, bomber jackets and deconstructed blazers alongside signatures such as drop crotch pants, cropped skirts, saris and co-ord sets. The collection also marks the debut of #PSAccessories with a line of totes, fanny packs, belt bags and wristlets.
The neutral base of chalky whites and ecru is soaked in a palette of pastels like periwinkle blue and pale rose, and blacks. The bursts of highlighter neons colour the collection with a gypset’s characteristic joie de vivre. A bold use of colours extends to the embroideries too—a mix of thread work, cutwork jaalis, leather embroidery, frayed tassels, appliqué and patchwork to create 3D textures. Complementing the handiwork are the brand’s signature #PSPrints—this season’s key patterns are classic hand painted florals and ikats.
While the inspirations are specific, the collection is deliberately ethnically ambiguous; giving the wearer a blank canvas to add context. Each piece is designed as a separate, to ease its integration into a range of occasions—a black-tie soiree in Jaipur, a beach party in Ibiza, a music festival in Nevada or a destination wedding in Mexico. The mise en scène is merely an excuse, because the defining virtue of the designs is the unique personality of the #PSGirl wearing them.
“I’ve gone back to my real passion of pushing the envelope with freewheeling creations with this line. Since it celebrates 20 years of my brand, I decided to forgo all the formulas and take risks. Design is the hero of the collection.”