After setting up a successful flagship store in New Delhi, textile designer and “Bombay boy” Ashdeen Lilaowala has brought his exquisite Parsi Gara saris to his hometown. “It was only a matter of time before I opened my store in Mumbai,” he says, acknowledging the Parsi community’s historic ties with the city.
Designer Ali Baldiwala of Baldiwala Edge, transformed the Colaba boutique, which previously housed Rajesh Pratap Singh’s luxury menswear, in a whirlwind 45 days. “I’ve always wanted to recreate a Parsi home,” he says. Bathed in a dusty rose, it’s elegant and feminine without being cloying—an exercise in restraint. The store is subtly divided by furniture and sheer curtains, creating a natural flow that guides visitors from one display to the next.
Intricately embroidered, jewel-toned saris and lehngas glimmer from under clothing racks that were upcycled from the previous store and refurbished with a fresh coat of taupe paint, gentle tent-like curves and floral embellishments in brass—a finishing touch that’s a nod to Lilaowala’s botanical designs.
Each flourish is carefully considered: hand-painted niches by artist Kanak Nanda, inspired by chinoiserie motifs that complement Lilaowala’s own designs, and custom window laminates with Art Deco and Art Nouveau influences by graphic designer Ruchita Madhok. Vestiges of the building’s old bones remain in the form of iron ceiling beams and patterned wooden flooring. “I wanted to have a blend of traditional and modern elements,” says Lilaowala, who also added several pieces of his own ancestral furniture, including the reception table, display cabinets, and a pair of armchairs. Art Deco–themed chandeliers and brass-framed windows add glamour and balance out the vintage elements with a contemporary touch. “It reflects our brand ethos which is to take the Parsi Gara textile tradition and innovate with it while keeping its essence intact,” notes the designer.