Practical and affordable are two key players in Payal Singhal’s stable, as this year she returns to the canvas of optimism and paints the colours of joy!
By Asmita Aggarwal
She can be given the moniker, “the queen of collaborations” some of which started with an idea and ended in a five year long meaningful association like Fizzy Goblet. Payal Singhal’s simplicity can be seen in her ensembles too—whether it is her collaboration with Silver Centre, Jaipur, a veteran in silver jewellery, where she designed a capsule collection in May this year, which you can wear to a mehndi or sangeet ceremony or how she amplifies versatility in a post-pandemic world.
Her father’s words who was in the garment business, ring in her ears, every time she has delusions of grandeur, “make it creative, wearable and affordable”. Also buy better and not more, has been her mantra, therefore it takes her two months to make a bridal lehenga. Her database has an interesting repertoire of NRIs, who don’t wear Indian clothes every day. Thus, she comes up with engaging concepts like “Sleep to Sangeet” inspired by her own life, which is twin sets you can sleep in and also enjoy a party—printed tops and dhoti pants for a lazy dresser. Her love for fashion helps her conjure up wardrobe builders, where each piece can be individually mixed and matched.
“I call myself an edited designer, I don’t add too many elements in my clothing—ruching, pleating, ruffling, I stick to one technique,” she explains. The same philosophy is carried forward in her bridal lehengas where they look heavy, but, in actuality, weigh less. Long before Payal ventured into fashion, she studied art, inspired by her grandfather, until her father steered her ‘on course’. This year, that innate love for the canvas and its unpredictability has been expressed through each print that has been hand painted by the designer, thus the name “Painterly” for the FDCI-LFW 2022 collection.
She has worked with amalgamations to enliven this ideology —brocade from Banaras goes to Jaipur where it is mixed with leheriya, adding a modern context. Or the zardozi technique this year executed in neon wool, looks Mexican but is Indian in spirit. She chose threadwork over stones embellishments and pitta work to offer lightness. “I want my embroidered jacket to be bought and worn ten years down the line with maybe a pair of distressed denims, longevity is the fulcrum of design now,” she adds.
Velvet appliques with taar ka kaam, inspired by Mughal architecture you can wear for a sangeet or the Red Carpet. “I am a pastel girl, this year it has to be celebrating happy moments so there is a lot of colour. The world has had a reality check that we all are mortals. Fashion gives us these pockets of joyousness,” she concludes.