Home > mint-lounge > features > Lounge Loves | Ogaan, Malcha Marg, Delhi

The newest destination of one of India’s oldest fashion stores, Ogaan, tracks two evolving stories. One, its own: The 4,000 sq. ft store at Delhi’s Malcha Marg underlines the interpretation of Indian fashion by its director, Aashti Bhartia, as distinct from that of her mother Kavita Bhartia, the founder of Ogaan and a well-known designer. The difference between Kavita’s Ogaan (Delhi has four other Ogaan stores; the first more than 25 years old) and Aashti’s Ogaan is also the difference between how fashion looked, was created, displayed and sold in the last few decades and what these tangibles mean today. The second trajectory embodies the design explosion taking place in Indian fashion. It also reveals how thoughtful curating can provide the much needed direction fashion needs when it travels from a designer’s studio to a customer’s wardrobe via the market.

Ogaan’s interiors—designed by Alina Vadera of Ava Studio—wear white with nutmeg and oatmeal offsets. The woodwork is in shades of walnut, the marble used for sofa frames is white, with flecks of grey, the upholstery is cream and a skylight in the ceiling brings a cheerful downpour of natural light to a section of the store. Especially created white pottery by Aman Khanna of Claymen, including clay lampshades, give this store a modern, sophisticated ambience. A small range of cushions, tan leather bags by Nappa Dori and Suhani Pittie jewellery flag off the clothes displayed in special rooms, on T-hangers and dress forms.

What’s most modern at Ogaan, though, is Aashti’s approach to fashion, her choice of designers (including some lesser-known names) and her selection from their repertoires. She hasn’t buckled under established market tendencies. There are no wedding clothes here. So while you will find couture with intricate embroidery and pretty embellishments, gold and silver linen garments, salwar-kameez sets, handloom prêt and even Banarasi saris and dresses, the pervading idea of Indian fashion as “flashy-flamboyant-frantically excessive" stands busted.

With designers like Peechoo, Anavila Misra, Pratima Pandey, Rashmi Varma, Payal Khandwala, Anamika Khanna, Sanjay Garg, Kavita Bhartia and labels like péro, eka, Patine, Malasa and Bodice—some Indian without shouting their ethnicity, others quiet in tone and texture—the store offers an engaging balance. You can shop here for exquisite couture garments that can be dressed down or prêt that will transit from work to evening wear. Special rooms for Khandwala, Garg and Khanna give the buyer an idea of their fashion and stylistic sensibilities.

Ogaan is not an “alternative" store with rustic or rebellious overtones. It is like good mainstream cinema where the story and cast have been meaningfully directed with an eye on commercial and critical success.

Ogaan, 3&4, Malcha Marg market, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (011-41716121).

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