Having lived in London for close to two decades and having being considered the czarina of Asian high society in the British capital for much of that period, Ramola Bachchan is now focused on making Mumbai even more stylish than it already is.
The poised and charming entrepreneur has curated a special section of high-end designer wear at Dvar, a new multi-designer boutique which threw open its doors in Mumbai, earlier this week.
Team MissMalini speaks to Ramola (for the uninitiated, she is sister-in-law to Amitabh Bachchan) on her role at Dvar and who she considers to be Bollywood’s best dressed!
Team MissMalini: What is the idea behind Dvar and what is your role in it?
Ramola Bachchan: Well, the idea is to have many designer labels under one roof so that you have a wide variety of choice and don’t have to visit many stores before you decide on what you want to buy. we have over twenty-five designers stocking at Dvar and hence, you needn’t look anywhere else.
As for my role, I have curated a special section where I’ve brought in designers from Delhi who don’t have a wide availability in Mumbai. Each of them represents a different aspect of Indian fashion. For example, Gauri & Nainika have designed a line of red-carpet gowns while Arpita Mehta does intrinsically Indian designs. Then we have Siddharth Tytler who does Indian and Western wear, which can be considered statement pieces. Sangeeta Kilachand does understated traditional wear and Deepika Govind retails her pop patola line of sarees with us too.
Team MM: With so many multi-designer stores in Mumbai, what is the USP of Dvar?
RB: We focus more on Indian wear, bridal wear and party wear. Also our choice of in-store designers is very different, since they are not local to Mumbai. Designers like Charu Parasher and Clad Clan (a new label) do fun, young stuff which is easy to wear and yet highly stylish.
Team MM: How often do you plan to change the designers in the store?
RB: We plan to change the collections on a monthly and bi-monthly basis. We will also keep introducing newer, young talent who are big on ideas.
Team MM: So what are the price points at Dvar?
RB: I think we are competitively well-priced. It’s not like shopping on Linking road, obviously! But people who have come in today have said that the merchandise is affordable and not over-priced! Our bridal trousseau wear starts at Rupees Fifteen Thousand. So it’s not overtly expensive.
Team MM: How would you describe your own personal style?
RB: I wear a lot of western wear on an everyday basis. since I’m a working woman and I’m always out and about it’s easier to wear a dress with a jacket or something Indo-western. I love wearing sarees for formal occasions. I wear things that make me feel comfortable. I don’t wear things just because it has a designer label stitched on the back. I don’t go by names and tags any longer. In fact, I promote young designers via a show I do in Delhi, called Runway Rising. I love wearing clothes by these youngsters too, who are yet to become established names in the Indian fashion industry.
Team MM: Who, according to you are Bollywood’s best dressed women?
RB: I think Shilpa Shetty dresses really well. She always looks immaculate. Among the younger stars, I count Sonam Kapoor as a fashionista. But of course, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan always looks elegant in whatever she wears, because she is so beautiful. The clothes don’t wear her – she wears the clothes, which is actually the way it should be. With her, it’s not about who she is wearing or how she is wearing it. It’s all about the way she presents herself.
Pix: Ranjit Rodricks for MissMalini