Personal touch

Personal touch
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First Published: Fri, Sep 12 2008. 01 04 AM IST

Head-on: One of Shilpa Chavan’s designs.
Head-on: One of Shilpa Chavan’s designs.
Updated: Fri, Sep 12 2008. 01 04 AM IST
Watches: JM Time
Milauni Parikh’s grandmother turned out to be much spunkier than the 23-year-old watchmaker imagined. A year ago, Parikh designed a diamond-encrusted, bow-tie watch, expecting someone in their 20s or 30s to take a shine to it. Her 68-year-old grandmother bought it. “I just can’t tell what kind of watch someone will like,” says Parikh. That is why she sources components for as many styles as possible.
Thanks to her family’s jewellery business, Parikh grew up around diamonds but was more interested in watch design. She makes watches that can pass off as jewellery, using Swiss mechanism and dials in a variety of materials and finishes, including mother-of-pearl and meenakari. Recently, she made a watch shaped like a snowflake. Clients can adapt existing designs, create a watch or describe something new.
229, Panchratna, Opera House, (23690674, JMTime9@aol.com). Watches take three-four weeks to make. From Rs15,000 (steel and diamonds) to more than Rs5 lakh. (Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi)
Ceramic tiles: Bharat Floorings
Want your bedroom to look straight out of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi’s eccentric imagination or replicate the feel of heritage mosaic? Tell Bharat Floorings in Fort, Mumbai. “Whether a client wants an Italian marble finish, or an Indian motif or even pieces of broken bangles embedded in ceramic tiles, we make it possible,” says Firdaus Sidhwa, director of the company and grandson of its founder. His grandfather, a lawyer by training, was inspired by the Swadeshi movement to offer an alternative to tiles imported from England and Italy.
For the first Kala Ghoda festival in 1999, they did a range of old-style tiles like the ones in 1920s Mumbai buildings. They have designed for Japanese restaurant Wasabi by Morimoto and the Bhau Daji Lad Museum. Recently, they embedded balls of glass into a tile to create the illusion of a bubbled surface for a mall in Bhandup.
32, Mumbai Samachar Marg, Fort (22654837). Orders to be placed at least 45 days in advance. From Rs90 per sq. ft. (Amrita Bose)
Motorbikes: Vardenchi
At 25, Akshai Varde, a hotel management graduate and flight purser, gave up his wings for custom-made choppers: “I bought my first Enfield with the money I made flying but I wanted more than a bike. It took me six months with a dozen small-time mechanics and fabricators to first strip it down and create what I’d envisioned, but the results were phenomenal.” Along with the compliments came requests for custom-made bikes. In May 2005, Vardenchi got its first official order for a custom-designed bike. It took Varde’s crew three months. Now they turn out orders in a matter of weeks. They work only with Royal Enfields but have a range of designs and bolt-on kits.
Akshai Varde (9820801998; ‘www.vardenchi.com’). Customization from Rs1.25 lakh, bolt-on kits from Rs5,000. (Neha Sumitran)
Headgear: littleshilpa
Head-on: One of Shilpa Chavan’s designs.
Shilpa Chavan puts Hawaii-chappal straps on models’ heads. She has adorned the crowns of men and women with glass bottles, acrylic plates, shallots and B-cup bras. Chavan, 34, is a milliner whose edgy aesthetic has been showcased in the shows of such designers as Manish Arora, Aparna Chandra, Wendell Rodricks and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
Chavan’s headpieces are fastened by headbands. In 2007, she opened her store National Permit in Morjim, Goa. Clients come to her to select or request pieces. “I want to know where they will wear it and with what. I want to know their personalities before I make something,” says Chavan. “I may repeat a silhouette, but I will never repeat a design.”
‘www.littleshilpa.com’ From Rs3,500. (Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi)
Poker and card sets: TMCards Dot Com
Factoids about animal poo, wedding invites, Iraq’s 52 most wanted and James Bond trivia are some of the elements you can find on playing cards printed by TMCards. Collectors and artists come knocking on its doors. For instance, Rajan Jayakar, a lawyer, showcased his collection of ancient currency notes on a deck. “What other product can show 54 different varieties of things?” says Amit Mohanani, vice-president of sales.
Last year, Mohanani expanded the business to produce customized poker chips. TMCards even stamps gold and silver foils on them.
12/2, Mahalaxmi Industrial Estate, Gandhi Nagar, Lower Parel, Mumbai (24950022, ‘www.tmcards.com’). Orders take at least a week. Decks from Rs2,800, poker chip sets from Rs6,000. (Suhani Singh)
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First Published: Fri, Sep 12 2008. 01 04 AM IST