A peek into the favorite Indian luxuries of Gaurav Bhatia, a Mumbai-based luxury expert
The Indian luxury market is second to none, when it comes to the luxury products.Be it luxury cuisines, jewelry, fabric, perfume or many such things, the country has got them in abundance. Gaurav Bhatia, a Mumbai-based luxury expert has been instrumental in expanding the scope of Indian luxury market.
Gaurav Bhatia’s previous roles as Managing Director, Sotheby’s India and Marketing Director, LVMH Moët Hennessy have not only honed his knowledge of luxury but also made him a tastemaker. Always an aesthete, his refined elegance and taste for beautiful things is known, but what we discover today is a special corner for homegrown luxury made in India.
In tête-à-tête, he lets us in to his favourite Indian luxuries.
1. What’s your favourite piece of Indian luxury?
I enjoy the slow luxury of Indian textiles. Vintage Kalamkari from Machilipatnam. I also like Brigitte Singh’s contemporary block printed treasures.
2. The most extraordinary piece of luxury from India?
3. The most underrated piece of luxury in India?
Saffron from Kashmir
4. Favourite Indian trend?
Maximalism. Indians by nature are collectors and this reflects in our textured lifestyles; in that sense its not really a trend but a truism.
5. Favourite Contemporary Indian Textile Designs?
Ikat by Madhu Jain and Peter D’Ascoli’s contemporary handspun cotton designs.
6. Favourite India Contemporary Designer?
Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla. They’ve mastered the art of taking Indian heritage and breathing a contemporary flair into it.
7. Favourite fabric from India?
Khadi (with a sliver of gota)
8. Favourite Indian embroidery?
Chikan. Especially the refined version that Abu and Sandeep do.
9. Favourite Indian perfume?
The heady scent of fresh mogras and desi gulab in attar. I adore the fragrance of Mysore Sandal Soap – they make for beautiful gifts. I wish they did candles.
10. Favourite Mumbai luxury?
Fresh white sontakka flowers that bloom only for two weeks during the monsoon.
11. Favourite Indian cuisine?
Lucknowi cuisine. Like the poetry of the region it is rich, complex and romantic. The idea of dum pukht is sheer refinement.
12. Favourite Traditional Jewelry Brand?
I like older indigenous pieces from Awadh, Hyderabad and Chettinad.
13. Favourite Contemporary Jeweler?
Bhagat. I am also drawn to newer younger voices in jewelry like V.A.K.
14. Favourite Books on Indian Luxury?
Almond Eyes Lotus Feet by Sharada Dwivedi & Shalini Devi Holkar and The Kashmir Shawl by Frank Ames.
15. Favourite Indian tradition of luxury?
Solah singaar. Nowhere else in the world can you get such a complex vocabulary of luxury. And eating on silver thalis.
16. A personal lifestyle moment that signifies luxury for you?
Entertaining at home. It is usually intimate, warm, decadent with recipes inherited by the family from our kitchens in Lucknow paired with some of our favourite wines.
17. Favourite collection from the Indian Royalty?
That’s a tough one. It would have to be a tie between Patiala and the Barodas.
18. Favourite Indian muse for Luxury?
Nur Jehan. She was a true patron of luxury. You can say she invented chikan.
19. Favourite Indian movie that captures Indian luxury?
Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam. The story, the costumes, the mise-en-scène represents the India of yore.
20. Favourite young Indian brands?
There are a few beautiful boutique brands that are getting it right. Top of mind are Andraab, Hanut Singh, En Inde and Shades of India. I would like to see them grow big.
Gaurav Bhatia launched his own Luxury & Lifestyle advisory cell MAISON INDIA after spending a decade at Sotheby’s India and LVMH.
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