Behind closet doors: Payal Singhal

  • Praachi Raniwala, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 19, 2015 14:40 IST
Designer Payal Singhal’s living room has been converted into a makeshift closet as we enter her apartment in Khar (Photo: Pratham Gokhle/ Hindustan Times)

Designer Payal Singhal’s living room has been converted into a makeshift closet as we enter her apartment in Khar. Dressed in a Deme by Gabriella trench shirt and ripped jeans, Singhal takes us through her generous collection of shirts, bags and jewellery.

Style sensibility: “I’ve always had a quirky sense of style and like to go against the trend. Comfort is high on my priority list. Being an Indian wear designer, I’m constantly surrounded by embellishments. So I stay away from it in my personal clothing.”

Closet staples: “Anti-fit cuts, monochromatic clothing, shirts with contrasting fronts and backs, and denims are my staples. I wear a lot of black, and have about 100 pairs of black bottoms (ranging from leggings and drop crotch pants to dhotis and high-waist trousers).”

Style influences: “I lived in New York for six years, from the ages of 26 to 32. Those are generally one’s formative years when it comes to a personal sense of style. So the city played a key role in shaping my style.”

Favourite brands: “I am all about mixing high street with high-end fashion. I don’t like logos or mainstream brands. Unconventional labels like Rag & Bone, Sass & Bide, Elie Tahari, Zadig & Voltaire and Cynthia Rowley appeal to me. I recently discovered a brand called Comptoir des Cotonniers and am in love with it. I also shop online from ASOS and Anthropologie.”

Top shopping destinations: “SoHo in New York is a one-stop for everything from conventional brands to underground designers. I also like Portobello Market in London. I visit flea markets whenever I travel.”

A Givenchy bag from Singhal’s collection. (Pratham Gokhale/ Hindustan Times)

Ace accessories: “I am big on shoes and bags. I normally wear ballet flats and brogues during the day. Personally, I prefer wedges and block heels over pencil heels. Gucci is my favourite shoe brand. For bags, I am all for non-logo classics from Chloé, Chanel, Dior and Givenchy, as well as high street and flea market finds.”

Jewellery picks: “I’m obsessed with jewellery by Suhani Pittie. I also shop from Curio Cottage, Valliyan by Nitya Arora, and Joolry by Karishma Mehra. I have several one-of-a-kind pieces that I have collected from markets across the world. My traditional, heavy jewellery is reserved for festivities. However, I wear my solitaires and wedding ring every day.”

All in the details: “I am very particular about fabrics, cuts and silhouettes. I also prefer clothes that don’t need constant ironing. Unique finds with stories behind them instantly win me over as do interesting details. For instance, I recently bought a top from Péro (by Aneeth Arora), and what sold me on it was that each button featured different-coloured thread.”

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