If you are a fan of the Lord of the rings or hobbit trilogies, this fantasy inspired fashion boutique will sweep you off your feet.
Amidst the chaos of the bustling city of Mumbai sits this 1,100-square-foot enchanting boutique named ‘papa don’t preach’ that lures passerby into an unknown land of wonder.
Metaphorically synonymous to its name, this boutique screams of individuality, imagination and creativity.
“All my life, I’ve always found an escape through books. Even in my work and in how I design, I consider myself a storyteller. So, that was my interior design vision: to have a store that felt like stepping into the pages of a storybook,” says founder Shubhika Sharma, who conceived the luxury homegrown fashion label, Papa Don’t Preach, in 2010, and later turned to her sister, interior designer and founder of Design Hex, Shimona Bhansali, to work her magic for the store.
Strolling down the rabbit hole
The store unfolds like a fairytale, with each chapter revealing a magical part of the wonderland.
Enveloped by a transcendental lavender façade emblazoned with fibre-cast, heart-shaped embroidery motifs (taken directly from the label’s lehenga designs), the exterior of this hidden gem is the perfect prologue to an enchanting story. “The store, like the brand, is inspired by all things extraordinary,” says Bhansali, whose idea of Hobbiton is fixated on upending the rules of nature. Near the entrance, a miniature hobbit-hole door and circular display windows are sweet whispers for onlooking fairies, elves and uh humans.
Turn the pages and you will see,
a mystical land of the free
Somewhere the fairytales come true,
A place created only for a few.
Inside of this mystical land of the glee, the ceiling is taken from Aladdin, projecting a star-spangled sky. Furthermore, the magic is felt from Alice in Wonderland inspired custom-cut crystal chandelier that reflects everything it shines upon.
The next chapter unveils a marshmallow pink infinity tree taken directly from the famous legend of Jack and the Beanstalk where the magic beans are replaced with awe-striking gem-encrusted jewellery lining up with the unconvential dress designs.
Mirror mirror on the wall,
Does one size fit all?
Turning the rustic silk pages of this book, the next chapter reveals deer-ish, animal-like mannequins in the store symbolizing gender-neutral beings to cater to the brand ethos of neutrality in clothing.
Further adding inclusivity to the place, “Each custom decor element symbolizes a distinctive quality, holding a mirror to the diverse personalities among us,” notes Bhansali.
“We wanted to welcome and celebrate each individual,” she concludes. Speaking of which, individuality plays no role in a dysfunctional environment, bringing us to another chapter of our fairytale.
Engineered by the tinker fairies
A fairytale is incomplete without a moral and just like a good moral adds substance to the story, functional elements of any space, add depth to the conceived area.
Likewise, the functional intervention of an HDF-covered mezzanine in the boutique elevates the shell with dusty rose textures and sparkling brass finishes. Equally, all the bespoke elements are designed in consciously selected, eco-friendly textures and materials, and the furniture is indigenously produced.
The store’s ability to narrate a story while projecting the maximalist collection as not only a souvenir, but a seraphic piece of utopia that reminds you of its mysteries whenever you wear it, makes it a prodigy of fashion. “It lends to the natural beauty and charm of Kala Ghoda, yet holds its own wonders,” Bhansali continues. “It’s very much like a portal—with magic on either side of the threshold.”
All-together, this spell binding place is the ideal portrayal of Shubhika’s extraordinary collection.