Payal Khandwala marries opulence with minimalism to create clothes that

leave room for self-expression

QWhat was the first thing you ever designed?

A. A black satin and tulle dress, for my farewell party in school. It was a disaster. I was a product of the ’80s so back then I thought it was spectacular. But in reality it was all kinds of wrong.

QWhat will one see you wearing on an average day?

A. It's quite relaxed, at work most likely a shirt or a tunic and maybe a drop crotch pant, or a palazzo. White/colour-blocked, and with one of our Tachi brass accessories.

Q You’ve given your own twist to minimalism. Are you a minimalist in design and in life?

A. I'm a gentle minimalist. I like things simple, in design and in my life but as much as I like restraint I also like to celebrate the drama and opulence I encounter in a country like ours. So I try to balance the two, because I don't like too much of any one thing.

Q What was the moodboard like for your S/S 2016 collection?

A. The shapes that became the foundation for the draping, pattern-making and accessories came from my daughter's geometry homework. Circles, triangles, parallelograms… I picked a sorbet colour palette and teamed it with mixed metals, vintage silver and gold for the colour story. The rest in terms of design were extensions of our house aesthetics and others were happy accidents!

Q What’s your pet peeve when buying or designing clothes?

A. I hate clothes that are cluttered, fussy, too tight, too heavy, too princess-like, too predictable and badly finished!

Q What compelled you to create your jewellery line Tachi?

A. I just wanted people to have an option to accessorise our clothes the way I would. Something that was simple but also dramatic. I would be happier still if they teamed it with other staples in their wardrobe though, I think they are quite versatile.

Q Even your most dramatic designs are surprisingly breezy when worn. How do you perceive comfort?

A. I wear every sample I design and I really like my comfort. I've had a baby, I've put on weight, lost it, my body has changed and I know how critical women can be about their bodies. So I'm very particular not to make clothes that put any more pressure on them. My clothes must simply maximise their personality.

Payal Khandwala has a dedicated room at our Malcha Marg, Delhi store and is available at our Hauz Khas and Khan Market