Fashion in the present scenario is defined by the confidence that you wear and experimenting with your sense of style. Acknowledging this trend transformation, designer labels – Matsya by designer Utkarsh Ahuja and Basanti Ke Kapde, have collaborated under the flagship store RARO House of Fashion by Studio Lotus. Utkarsh Ahuja is known for cutting-edge contemporary classics and Basanti Ke Kapde is all about embracing ethnicity. With this merger, the two brands intend to curate an ethnically contemporary collection – a combination of contemporary silhouettes and traditional styling under the same roof.
The flagship store – RARO house of fashion, is located on the first floor of a commercial building in the Naraina Industrial Area, New Delhi. The store covers an area of 10,500 sq ft and is divided into two zones for the clientele to have clarity in the difference of expression of both brands. The store has a narrow frontage and staircase access to the retail space from the northern facade. A separate service staircase is designed along the south and west sides.
RARO house of Fashion is designed to ensure both brands occupy similar spaces without alteration to an existing design. The designers of Studio Lotus have planned a central atrium with membrane lighting to provide an open-to-sky effect in the store. One end of the courtyard facing the backside of the building leads to Matsya and the other end oriented towards the East-facing glazed side leads to Basanti Ke Kapde. As Basanti Ke Kapde is more about casual clothing, it is planned in the more bright section of the floor, and the other dimmer half is assigned to Matsya with more heavier and dramatic wear.
The zones are further divided into small rooms for an exclusive and private experience for customers with individual furniture lots for every room. The existing columnar layout is used to devise the smaller spaces with glazed arched openings to guide circulation without hindrance. The subsections of Matsya include a bride atelier, men’s section, semi-bridal attire section, and consultation space for customized garments. The bride section is placed at the back of the store to ensure privacy while the men’s section and semi-bridal section opens directly into the courtyard.
Studio Lotus have conceptualized the lighting and decor in such a manner to highlight the difference between the two brands at RARO House of Fashion. Basanti uses light timber furniture, floral upholstery, and sleek grid lighting and on the contrary, Matsya uses deep colors, velvet upholstery, and burnished wood fixtures illuminated with blown glass lamps.
The connecting element in the design is the courtyard that also acts as an extended display for the store. It acts as a waiting area at the Basanti zone end and has a mannequin display at the Matsya zone end. The courtyard has a cash counter with a mural at back depicting the engagement of both brands in hand-crafted detail work. An exposed ceiling that sets in an industrial tone to the store and the large format flooring with metal inlay binds the whole store together.
The design theme for Matsya is drawn from traditional Indian architecture which sets the image of the brand as a mystical collection for the modern bride. The dim lighting and dark stone cladding play a supporting role to work towards the concept. The stone fins that are used to design the display have motifs etched from temples and brass rods at intervals to create shelving.
Contrasting to that, the theme for Basanti Ke Kapde uses slim metal rods and cane to create shelving. This brand area is worked with light and minimalistic materials and lighting grids are used to form focal points for special merchandise displays. A second glazed layer is used to create an offset of the front facade that lets in ample light in the retail zone.
RARO House of Fashion by Studio Lotus delineates a seamless experience with keeping individuality intact and accentuates the concept of connecting. The timber, stone, and concrete create a single unit that maintains its duality in perfect proportion catering to their respective target customers.
Project Name : RARO house of fashion
Project Location : Naraina Industrial Area, New Delhi
Client Name : Utkarsh Ahuja
Design Firm : Studio Lotus
Design Team : Asha Sairam, Neelam Das, Sonam Agarwal, Randhir Kumar and Avesh Gaur
Site Area : 10,500 Sq. Ft
Photo Credits : Avesh Gaur