Payal Singhal is a designer who has managed to bring modernity to traditional Indian wear. And yet her clothes allude to a certain old world charm. She takes you on a journey – and her clothes make you want to discover the story behind the craft. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Payal in action at a trunk show in New York. What was so great to witness was she is as excited about styling her garments on shoppers as she is about designing them. She walks us through her approach to design.
You started designing fourteen years ago. How has your aesthetic evolved?
My personal aesthetic has gone from net leggings to grunge to edgy and my design has evolved from pretty and beautiful to experimental and deconstructed.
As Indian designers become more accessible, do you think “couture” will become harder to sustain?
I think couture as a market space is redundant. True luxury today is in cleaner and sharper design.
Your global presence continues to grow – who do you see as the ultimate Payal Singhal woman?
Anyone who loves colors, textiles and wears clothes to please herself and not others.
Your proudest fashion moment?
When my son saw my fashion show on you tube for the first time.
How should the bride of today wear Payal Singhal?
With her favorite t-shirt and vintage jewelry.
A failure that has helped shape you.
Having had to struggle to define my design sensibilities and appease the fashion press in India – it made me stronger and more confident of what I stood for as a designer.
One piece of advice for aspiring designers?
Start the process of discovering what your voice is as a designer rather than trying to emulate a designer you admire.
What can we look forward to next season?
Black and white graphics with gold accents.
Her latest Spring Summer 2015 collection is inspired by Gulmarg in Kashmir.
This collection continues to see her evolution in prints and she brings back some of her classic silhouettes in patialas, crop tops and skirt-over-pants. Though heavily focused on eveningwear, there are options here for every woman. In beautiful fabrics of chanderi silk and organza, she has paid particular emphasis on shapes that elongate the female form and kept her lines clean and over-embellishment free.
A very wearable and saleable collection to say the least.