Every bride’s whimsical fairytale begins here.
BEEP! My phone flashes.
I’ve got mail. Well, email.
“Dear Shinjni, lah lah lah new store in Lower Parel lah lah lah 2-day Bridal Fest and we’d would love to have you over. Regards, JADE.”
Don’t say another word.
Tickets are booked, bags are packed. And despite a total fashion week hangover that will end up almost killing me a week later, I cannot be more excited (Chandler Bing style. FRIENDS re-run scenes have been happening around my laptop lately).
It’s an August morning in Mumbai, and I land to the sight of rain artistically splattering itself on my airplane’s window. Here, in this city, I find everything a piece of art. I’m here for just a day, so I head straight for the cab with my hand baggage in tow. I watch the rain pour, the way it pours only in Mumbai, and I fall into my Zen zone for the next 20 minutes – feeling every moment as it passes by in the city I love, breathing the sights and sounds of Mumbai in.
I’m directly heading to JADE’s new studio in Lower Parel, and I can’t help but think about the last time I visited them. 2 years ago, two friends and I had walked into JADE’s Peddar Road store to do the blog’s first ever “photo shoot”. We had made a fun afternoon out of it, trying on insanely gorgeous bridal wear and posing for my snap-happy photographer friend. I remember my girlfriend and I literally sighing with lust over the dreamiest lehengas we had ever laid eyes on.
Since that day 2 years ago, JADE has grown leaps and bounds, and they have now opened up a new place at Lower Parel called M&K Couture Studio (M&K stands for Monica & Karishma – the designer duo behind JADE).
I reach Peninsula Business Park at 11 am, and quickly walk through a lobby that looks like any other MNC office building. I press 5, and the lift opens up to what looks like a typical corporate office floor. How do they have a designer studio in here?
I find the JADE sign, and walk through a long, beautifully decorated corridor and end up in what can only be described as an eclectically designed reception area. Today is the second day of their 2-day Bridal Fest, and I start my walk through their new studio.
Encased in glass windows that gives visitors a true Bombay view of high-rises all around, M&K Couture Studio is a wedding world that you cannot imagine exists inside of a business park in Mumbai’s Lower Parel district. The decor and design drips with luxury, and you can spend a whole day lounging around with your bridal party.
There are 3 trial rooms available to use, and the space is endless. While you try on lehenga after lehenga, your family can comfortably seat themselves on one of the many swanky sofas placed all over. There are two dozen mirrors on the walls, as if the space was created keeping a bride in mind. You can admire your reflection in that crimson red wedding lehenga, without having to step aside for anyone waiting in line.
An appointment needs to be taken before a visit, as this is a private studio, and one of the designers will be available to sit with you and custom-make a bridal order, depending on your wedding requirements.
They have a row of ivories that, to me, is a classic colour palette always found on the most elegant woman in the room. Since shades of ivory and gold are trending at weddings, M&K Couture Studio houses plenty of options for the fashion-conscious bride. They have an entire section of red wedding lehengas as well, and the embroidery on every piece is absolutely impeccable. This is a good sign for a studio that sells expensive trousseau wear. No one wants to empty their pockets on pieces that lack even slightly in the neatness of their embroidery.
Beautiful saris line a cupboard, and I can’t help but fall in love with the fabrics they’ve used, particularly the silks and chantilly lace. Bridal trunks, that are a JADE speciality, are set up in one section. Every bride takes away her final order in one of these beauties, and they’re personalised with her name inscribed on them.
Models are walking around today in lehengas and gowns from the collection, and I spot a few pieces on the racks that quickly make their way to my favourites. A gold lehenga and an ivory anarkali gown are so beautiful just on the hanger that it makes me wonder how much more gorgeous they could possibly look if draped on a real bride.
Another thing that catches my eye is the clutches in store – I notice how they’ve selected the cutest motifs to embroider onto the bags. From penguins to sea horses and teddy bears, it adds an adorable touch to what would otherwise remain an average clutch. There are also 2 sections set up as part of the 2-day Bridal Fest – JADE has brought in a Nordic Kandie tasting station and a Bespoke Vintage Jewels display.
(click on the thumbnails to view larger images)
M&K Couture Studio is a higher-end store than JADE’s Peddar Road store we visited 2 years ago. Although you will find bridal wear at both locations, there is a difference in pricing.
M&K Couture Studio: Lehengas start from 1.5 lakh | Gowns from 2 lakh | Saris from 1 lakh
JADE’s Peddar Road Store: Lehengas start from 1 lakh | Anarkalis at 40,000 | Saris at 35,000
My Happy Ending
Minutes have slipped into hours, and I have barely noticed the time – I’ve spent it all admiring the store, and what it held within. As I make my way out of Lower Parel in the evening, I know exactly where I have to be next.
I sit next to one of my closest friends in the world, who I’ve known for 10 long years. We went to college together, just a few kilometres from here. And we sit, catching up on the last 6 months, knowing half our attention is on the spectacular sunset that’s unravelling itself before us. I saw this sunset every single day those 3 years. Ah, I’ve missed you, Mumbai.
I’ve had to call a distant land my home,
Sweetheart’s home, is what it really is,
Because mine lies on a cemented seat,
With a view of where the sea and sky meet,
A thousand odd miles away.