You know how teachers and professors at schools and colleges always feed you with rot that everyone is competition and one must beware of even their own shadow!!! I thank my stars (actually my parents) and the people I met that mattered, because of who I got to believe in just the opposite – to be fearless! And as much as I wish every one to work carefree with just all the passion and nothing else …… she truly is fearless – KIMYA GANDHI – my inspiration from the day I have known her!!!
I have always been a person who could spend hours in an art shop - the colours, the papers, the many mediums, everything - more than captivate, hypnotises me! And I am quite sure if you are a painter or in any way inclined towards art you already know about these two art marvel stores located at the two ends of Bombay (Mumbai) - stocked to the brim with all possible art supplies - Himalaya and Art Station an artists heaven!
The nostalgia of an old customer who has been going there for years….. Himalaya is one of the first and finest stationery shops I have been to that caters purely and “soul-y” to fine art supplies and/or to inspire the fine artist inside you 😉
Located near Victoria Terminus Station and opposite the J.J school of arts, Himalaya has been first of its kind in India, an old establishment that is now running short on space with their products stocked and stacked all the way up to the ceiling, which by the way has been spray-painted and in a way adds to the charm of the shop. They have the most extensive range of art materials and brands you can think of, here you will find Winsor and Newton oil paint, Liquitex and Golden acrylic paint, Gouache colours; all kinds of mediums and varnishes, drafting tools, easels, calligraphy pens etc etc as well as a decent selection of instructional books on art. One can never leave without having to buy at-least one new thing!
“Has this shop always been here?!” I mumbled while trying to recall as I walked into the small, quaint store. Looking at all the exquisite linen products, i felt like i was stepping into my grandmother’s cherished linen closet, not a store at Colaba causeway. I have spent a large chunk of my college days roaming around causeway making it my second home and having wonderful memories with friends, food and shopping at every corner! So imagine my surprise when I was recommended this store by colleagues (while working on a film) who are not even originally from this city… it is one of the things I value most about what we do, sourcing these fine old gems everywhere we go.
DIT was established in 1942 by Mrs. Josephine Mendes who began her career as a seamstress at the store and managed it all the way through her 90’s! why call it DIT? “Well it was mom’s pet name ” explains her son Frank who now runs things here. He was a commercial pilot back in the day and swooped in to help Mrs Mendes at the shop when things at home started to go south. Mr.Frank loves reminiscing about the old days.. talking about everything from his friends and family, to his travels around the world and how fabulously his mother used to dress up the store windows.
A massive open ground, abundance of ideas, limited resources, NO TIME – the story of an event decor designer’s life.
To be frank, I relate to this and literally live it everyday but there is a small but significant difference i.e. of ‘control’ which a production designer/ space stylist enjoys and an event decor designer often doesn’t. Control that clearly dictates a ‘rule’ over all others on a film set; that except for the design team NO ONE TOUCHES A THING. PERIOD! (of-course excluding the actors that need to interact with the given environment ;)). I can only imagine myself giving threatening and hostile looks to the crowd if something gets displaced from where its supposed to be. However, this ‘rule’ absolutely cannot apply to event designing which is wholly based on an interaction with the audience. Interaction with signage and directions, seating and movement, spaces and scenic elements.
Having explained this… Did you go visit ‘The Lil Flea‘ on their 1st anniversary event held at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) by Mumbai Mirror, in Mumbai (Bombay) over the weekend?!?!
And did you notice all the play with those big alphabet cutouts, floral swings, pretty hanging cane and net lights, bamboo shade square umbrellas, pathways created by many colored fabrics, curtains bordered with woolen tassels, and all the entrances made with collages of fabric attached to household utensils and the likes?? ….If you din’t…. scroll down to see some photos 🙂
Zeb and I were all smiles to see how these little interactions in the space made people so happy, they were designed to not only perform a function but also form the perfect looking backdrop for their photographs. We think it was a great show put together by the decor team which was headed by a dear friend Tanvi Gupta; who in my book is a complete go-getter!
If you don’t already know, I work on art directing confined spaces and locations to their best potential use, and style them to suit a script/ character of a film or advertisement. The biggest challenge always is space division and the only thing that gets me thinking over and over and over again.
I like to believe I have the space planning part nailed, though creating a great depth, function and connect of one area to the other by experimenting with newer options is what keeps me in check. While we can use different styles of screens, glass doors, furniture, drapes, lights, sculptures etc. to divide and define spaces; Glass Bead Curtains are on my hit list these days because I just LOVE the way they catch the light and glisten up like a perfect tease to a space. It is a pleasant layer that allows privacy yet a subtle disconnect.
As beautiful as this may sound it is an uphill task to source bead curtains to the right dimensions and style. And if you want to make them on your own – local wholesale markets like Pydhoni in Bombay (Mumbai) help, but its just tedious to get ‘glass’ beads in this china made world that we live in and then to string them together! – don’t even want to get to that……
This week MMT introduces you to “Memories of A Butterfly “ by Sreeti Mondol who says that it is a simple and malleable concept – the bead curtain.
What we love about bead curtains is that they not only allow for a play with color, light and texture, but also enable us to create natural connectors between spaces. They have the ability to create privacy without disconnecting an area from the rest of the house, office, bar or restaurant. - Memories of a Butterfly
One should note that all designs by MOAB are hand-made and every piece is customized so as to suite the clients’ design and functional needs! Sreeti surely has created an edge by exploring extensively, in style, material, dimensions and design. The variety of materials used includes– Pure Glass, Crystal, Australian Shell, Bone, Treated PVC, Stained or Sprayed Acrylic, Acrylic Crystal and Wood, just to name a few.
You can work along MOAB to design a bead screen to your tastes or better, just pick from her creations to suit your space. MMT’s favorite is the BlueGreen MOSAIC Glass Bead Curtain because of its intricate and modern design. Her other designs include, ‘Moroccan Blue’, ‘Bold Polka’, ‘Champagne Gold’, ‘Glass Crystal Multicolored’, ‘Pomegranate Gold’, ‘SeaBlueGreen Aztek’, ‘Topaz Leaf’, ‘Acrylic Crystal’s’ and ‘Chandelier Decor’.
View much more and contact Sreeti Mondol – Director and Principal Designer for Memories of a Butterfly through her facebook page linked here and/or her website www.memoriesofabutterfly.com; having been at this for almost a decade, you can be sure to find the advise and help you need from Sreeti.