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
- PRICE: From Rs 2,750 plus taxes
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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 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.
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.