It’s a hard world for Indian fashion out there: you’re walking a tightrope between traditionally intricate motifs and embroidery with minimalistic Western lines and cuts. But Payal Singhal seems to have gotten the balance just perfectly, with industry insiders at Lakme Fashion Week excited about her take on modern Indian fashion.
This isn’t your standard saree shop collection, Luxe fans. We’re talking edgy takes on traditional salwars & anarkalis with tons of lehengas thrown in, all with a healthy dose of traditional “jaali” and filigree work (floral designs dating back to the Mughal empire) for bold global statements.
We’re totally digging the long-sleeve saree blouse (we wrote a how-to-wear guide here before) and Payal’s effortless way to make a saree everyday accessible with a tunic and statement jewelry, as seen below.
So what’s Payal’s thought process in making these effortlessly glam getups? Here’s what the designer had to say about the influences behind her most recent collection, tips for accessorizing outfits, and her uniform for hanging out in the city.
Luxemi: Tell us about your inspiration for this year’s LFW collection and why you felt it was important to integrate swadeshi (locally made) textiles?
Payal: The inspiration started from a book I was referencing for work. It was a book on Islamic architecture where all the textures and patterns were inspired from monuments; the Taj Mahal is the epitome of that. We always use a lot of Indian textiles in our collections because the brand motto is to make Indian clothes with Indian textile, but in a global context.
Luxemi: Describe the Payal Singhal girl – Who is she? Where does she live? What’s her style?
Payal: The Payal Singhal girl can live anywhere, but she’s confident and not afraid to experiment with her style.
Luxemi: What do you think the trends will be for spring/summer wedding fashion this year?
Payal: I think minimalistic, earthy glamour is what will be in fashion this year for the summer brides: cool colors like sand, cream and grey with pops of warm colors like red and yellow and gold tones. It will be more about style than embroidery.
Luxemi: You split your time in New York and Mumbai. What’s your go-to outfit for a night out on the town in New York? Do you change it up when you’re in Mumbai?
Payal: In New York, it’s easy. I usually put on leggings and Frye boots and any wrinkle-free tunic from DVF (something that doesn’t need to be ironed!). I don’t do much different in Mumbai, except switch out the boots for some peep-toe pumps.
Luxemi: Your name is Payal, which refers to the Sanskrit word for “anklet.” What are your rules for accessorizing Indian outfits?
Payal: I always have one focal accessory and don’t over accessorize, so either a statement earring or necklace or ring – but never all 3 together.
Looking to inject a little Payal playfulness in your weary wardrobe? Try pairing an ornate blouse with high-waisted pants. Or drape your salwar in pretty patterns that are elegant yet chic. Neutrals in black, gold and white are anything but boring when your inspiration is the Taj Mahal!