Payal Singhal On Building Her Fashion Empire

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Payal Singhal’s flair for unconventional designs is a thing to die for. She is the name behind her eponymous couture label. Each creation from her atelier excludes the elegance. There is rejuvenation in her creativity that reflects in her designs. Her attire is fun and comfortable. Here Payal Singhal presents tips and tricks for the brides, her inspiration and love for fashion…

How has been your journey so far?

I have always had utmost clarity about what the Payal Singhal brand will stand for since the very beginning – we are about Indian clothing for the global Indian. I wanted to make traditional silhouettes part of one’s mainstream wardrobe and not restrict it to occasion-based ethnic wear. The emphasis has always been wearability, comfort, value for money and effortless impact. As a brand, we aspire to enrich the lifestyles of those who appreciate art and craftsmanship, and are able to be the difference whilst being trend-setters and real-world, alike.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The inspirations are varied. I am a history, art and culture nerd, so a lot of my references come from there. Currently, I have been fascinated by Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan crafts and techniques, the Silk Route, and bazaars of the world. This reflects in my most recent collections ‘Mu’asir, ‘Sanat’ and ‘Qo’shilish’. ‘Lady M’ – our XX’18 collection, on the other hand, was inspired by Downton Abbey and Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries. You can say that nostalgia is definitely a defining element across all my collections. The #PSGirl also inspires me. I like to observe the woman around me and think of the woman who is going to wear these clothes before putting them on the runway.

What are the bridal myths you would like to burst?

The first bridal myth I would like to burst is that brides need to follow rules. It’s your big day; embrace whatever your idea of bridal wear is. It’s not customary to wear red for the pheras, nor is it necessary to be heavily dressed from head-to-toe. It’s your big day and you should have fun and be comfortable to wear your smile!

What should be on a bride’s checklist?

Weddings are a long exhausting affair with several events and every bride should have comfortable shoes in her list. Throw away those high heels and slip into a pair of elegant juttis to dance the night away. By the way, our exclusive collection with Fizzy Goblet will do just that for the brides-to-be.

What change would you like to see this season?

I want more brides to look beyond the lehenga for their functions. You can wear a sari for your pheras or a cool tiered sharara and cropped tunic for the mehndi.

How can a bride integrate something old into her look?

By mixing it with ‘something borrowed’ this could be a family heirloom like a sari that you wear as a dupatta or a piece of jewellery. Time-honored heritage weaves is another way of achieving this.

Please tell us about your bridal collections this season.

Our bridal collection is a versatile mix of heritage weaves and embroideries in modern silhouettes, and we play with unconventional colours and bohemian touches because that’s exactly what this bride is looking for. The #PSBride is confident, cultured, intelligent, and in touch with her roots. She wants to dance on her wedding day and move around with ease, rather than be bogged down by heavy outfits. She also has a very individualistic style – so instead of dictating what she should wear head-to-toe, we encourage her to mix-and-match. Our latest collection ‘Sanat’ (meaning ‘Aart’ in Turkish) travels to pre-historic Turkey to create a mood board of carpets, pottery and geometric motifs from the region, which also feature Persian and Greek nuances. Then fused with Ikat weaves from Pochampally, the-destination-wedding-meets-summer-getaway collection is a modern-day narrative on blending multi-faceted eastern inspirations.

Anatolia rugs and Ikat textiles heavily inspire the colour palette, but we balance our go-to hues such as cranberry, black, stone and dusty rose with bursts of pop colours like coral, lime and pink. We have recreated the imagery of a Turkish traveller of yore with balloon-sleeved tops and traveller dhoti pants, alongside updated house signatures like asymmetrical tunics, kurta-sharara sets, draped saris and lehenga sets.

Have there been any failures? What did you learn from it?

Failures are a necessity en-route to achievement. You need to embrace them and learn from them whilst moving ahead. The secret to longevity is moving with the times. You need to innovate and embrace the need of the hour at every step along the way.

How have you evolved as a designer?

Even as we celebrate 20 years in 2019, the brand’s signature aesthetic continues to remain contemporary and minimalistic, with a vintage heart. The signature style remains consistent because our end game has not wavered- to make Indian wear a mainstream staple, which you can wear beyond weddings and festive occasions. We don’t want it to be looked upon as ‘ethnic wear’ which remains in storage, and sees the light of day only few times a year. We have remained consistent but evolved with the #PSGirl, adding new verticals to the brand as the demand grew for it. So now we have #PS Men, #PS Kids, a range of accessories and several new exciting launches coming up.

What’s your expert advice to brides preparing their look for the big day?

Comfort, whether you’re the bride or bridesmaid, is the most important factor. The destination will also influence your wardrobe – for instance, a 20 kilo lehenga at a beach wedding will be grossly amiss. As a bride, venture out of your comfort zone when picking your outfits. Try multiple looks before you narrow down on the final looks. Be cognizant of what best enhances your frame, and choose silhouettes accordingly.

Three words to describe your collection

Contemporary, Statement, Global

One item everybody should have in their wardrobe.

A fantastic pair of jeans

What is the most treasured item in your closet?

My silk PS low crotch pants

What are the hottest trends and colours for this wedding season; could you elaborate for all functions; cocktails, mehendi/sangeet, wedding, reception?

This wedding season tribal, gypsy boho are a huge trend so the color palette for mehndi and sangeets will see colors like coral, purple, cranberry, yellow. For weddings, the classic deep red will rule and for receptions, I see metallics being a big trend.

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