Payal Singhal celebrates 20 Years of her label at Lakme Fashion Week with her show titled #PS20 on 21st August 2019 at 5:30pm on day 1 of LFW WF 2019.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
—J. R. R. Tolkien
Ever since its launch in 1999, the Payal Singhal brand has stood for a contemporary reimagination of Indian bridal and occasion wear; where tradition and historical references are revisited with an international perspective.
To celebrate 20 years of her eponymous brand, Payal Singhal launches her AW’19 collection, called #PS20. Gypsies and Bohemia serve as the starting point of the collection’s inspiration, though at a macro level, the line serves a statement on the overall DNA of the brand.
“As soon as I saw you, I knew a great adventure was about to begin.”
— A.A. Milne
While Payal Singhal is renowned for her modern Indian silhouettes, the design vocabulary is never without a touch of nostalgia, often inspired by lands far and wide. The #PS20 collection encapsulates this sensibility with its mood board of throwback styles from the wardrobes of 10th century gypsies—merry vagabonds who belonged not to regions and borders but to their shared stories.
“The original bohemians were really just artists who went against norm. They were liberal thinkers and dressers; often drawn to bold colours, indigenous crafts and textures. They also pioneered mixing and matching. But the collection goes beyond simply referencing their lifestyle to celebrating it. This forward-thinking mindset, deeply inspired by art and culture, has been the raison d’etre of the brand for two decades now,” says the designer.
This folklore inspiration is further spruced with elements from Islamic architecture, and cultural cues from the crafts and bazaars of Turkey and Morocco.
“Love her but leave her wild.”
Bohemians are not just the inspiration for the collection but also represent the woman Singhal started designing for—ahead of her times, and thriving on unconventionality. Moreover, it is an accurate reflection of the #PSGirl of today—a millennial wandress; free-spirited, curious and always on the move.
“The #PSGirl’s come-as-you-are mindset is not an attention-seeking act of rebellion but an expression of her individuality. She has never been one to toe the line. She is not bound by borders either, rather is a world citizen. Hence the collection is international too; very Camp meets Coachella.”
Singhal has worked extensively with georgette and organza to create soft, structured looks while innovating with the silhouettes—think jacket cholis, lehenga salwars, bomber jackets and deconstructed blazers alongside signatures such as drop crotch pants, cropped skirts, saris and co-ord sets. The collection also marks the debut of #PSAccessories with a line of totes, fanny packs, belt bags and wristlets.
The neutral base of chalky whites and ecru is soaked in a palette of pastels like periwinkle blue and pale rose, and blacks. The bursts of highlighter neons colour the collection with a gypset’s characteristic joie de vivre. A bold use of colours extends to the embroideries too—a mix of thread work, cutwork jaalis, leather embroidery, frayed tassels, appliqué and patchwork to create 3D textures. Complementing the handiwork are the brand’s signature #PSPrints—this season’s key patterns are classic hand painted florals and ikats.
While the inspirations are specific, the collection is deliberately ethnically ambiguous; giving the wearer a blank canvas to add context. Each piece is designed as a separate, to ease its integration into a range of occasions—a black-tie soiree in Jaipur, a beach party in Ibiza, a music festival in Nevada or a destination wedding in Mexico. The mise en scène is merely an excuse, because the defining virtue of the designs is the unique personality of the #PSGirl wearing them.
“I’ve gone back to my real passion of pushing the envelope with freewheeling creations with this line. Since it celebrates 20 years of my brand, I decided to forgo all the formulas and take risks. Design is the hero of the collection.”