Architecture and fashion combine to create a surrealist dreamscape for renowned Indian fashion designer
The new flagship store for globally acclaimed couturier Gaurav Gupta at Mehrauli consists of a deconstructed maze-like dreamscape emblematic of the designer's work.
Gupta's work balances the familiar and the fantastical to craft a timeless, yet futuristic brand identity; the design of the new manifests this narrative through an immersive retail experience. The design for the flagship store draws from multiple and disparate sources of inspiration - be it the Dickensian townscape of Great Expectations, or the fantastical motifs from European folklore.
The store premises consist of a single-story building lined by a private garden. A nondescript rectangular floorplate becomes the shell within which a layered geometry of spaces has been crafted. An oblong central hall acts as the core of the outlet, opening up at multiple points into peripheral rooms. The rooms, varying in size and scale, house the different collections by the label; this distinction in function is enhanced by the specific visual expression of each space, which marks a subtle transition between the zones as one moves through them.
The design scheme combines a deconstructed aesthetic with a subdued colour palette, creating a space filled with monochromatic tones of grey to make for a suitable retail backdrop. Handcrafted mouldings and sculptures embellish the richly-textured plaster walls, details of sculpted cast metal animal forms in the display racks, furniture and accessories set in the space extend a narrative that ties up the entire space and make this magical and fantastical world come alive.
The spatial layout of the store subtly subverts the notion of direct sightlines. Carefully aligned doorways provide uninterrupted views across multiple zones, while narrow slivers in the walls offer glimpses from one space to another. The wide windows looking out the garden out at the garden, and a strategically placed full-length mirrors create engaging backdrops for each fitting.
Embodying the unique artistic vision that Gupta possesses, the Flagship Store for Gaurav Gupta brings alive the larger-than-life, surrealist narrative of Gupta's work that has captured the Indian fashion industry's imagination for more than a decade.