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Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings inspire menswear shirts

The label, Tath, puts elements from window grilles and details from lesser-known Art Déco facades in Matunga, Wadala, Sion and Dadar, into casual prints.

mumbai Updated: Dec 15, 2017 22:26 IST
Jayati Bhola
Jayati Bhola
Hindustan Times
Art Deco,Art Deco buildings,South Mumbai
The pattern on the shirt has been inspired from the wrought-iron grillework Prasad Ramamurthy spotted on a building in Matunga.(Pankaj R Anand)
Tath’s Bombay Art Deco Collection
  • PRICE: From Rs 2,750 plus taxes
  • Available via facebook.com/tathbydesign/ or on Instagram at @tathbydesign

South Mumbai’s Art Déco buildings, with their geometric designs, curvy balconies and distinctive flat motifs, are one of the city’s unique attractions. We have the most Art Deco buildings in the world after Miami and they’ve inspired mall interiors, modern furniture and even cocktails.

Now, journalist, Prasad Ramamurthy is hoping that inspiration spreads to men’s casual shirts as well. His label, Tath, puts elements from window grilles and details from lesser-known art déco facades in Matunga, Wadala, Sion and Dadar, into casual prints.

The shirts take inspiration from the lesser know Art Deco buildings in Matunga, Sion, Wadala and Dadar - neighbourhoods Ramamurthy has grown up around. (Pankaj R Anand)

The architectural style peaked in the 1930s in the West, and was popular locally until the 50s. Metro and Liberty cinemas and the buildings along the Oval Maidan are great local examples, and New York City’s Chrysler Building is perhaps the best known. “I’ve always been drawn towards Art Deco,” Ramamurthy says. “It’s all over the city commonly used in embellishment.”

Ramamurthy grew up in Matunga surrounded by these beautiful structures. The more popular Art Deco buildings in the Fort area were already well documented, he says. “But where I live, people don’t look at buildings for heritage value.” The prints are a way of holding on to a design trend that’s fast vanishing as the modest buildings are razed to build skyscrapers.

The patterns are hand printed using the daboo block printing technique, which uses mud instead of wax to hold the designs on the fabric. The shirts are breezy, use organic cotton and handloom fabric. “I have a personal bent towards Indian handlooms and I wanted to showcase it through Tath,” Ramamurthy says.

Keeping Mumbai’s weather in mind, the shirts are breezy, use organic cotton and handloom fabric. The pattern on the waistcoat has been inspired by motifs seen on a building on Mohammad Ali Road. (Pankaj R Anand)

Akhil Almedia, 37-year-old VP-Digital at Kantar IMRB, says he bought the shirt because the patterns and the designs were unusual. “Art Déco has been an important part of the city’s skyline and history but you don’t see work inspired by it,” he says. “When you look at the details on the collars and on pockets, it all comes together. It made me the purchase personal for me.”

Tath will introduce a similar womenswear collection in 2018.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 22:26 IST