Behind the Label | Maithili Ahluwalia's Bungalow 8
Long known for her luxe Mumbai concept store Bungalow 8 , Maithili Ahluwalia?s latest venture is turning her strong global chic brand into a new clothing line called the BUNGALOW. In collaboration with designer Mathieu Guggumus Leguillon, the new BUNGALOW collection features chic and easy styles inspired by India that are perfect to wear almost anywhere around the globe. We recently talked with Maithili about her style and the story behind her new collection. Shop the BUNGALOW collection exclusively on our site.
Long known for her luxe Mumbai concept store Bungalow 8, Maithili Ahluwalia?s latest venture is turning her strong global chic brand into a new clothing line called the BUNGALOW. In collaboration with designer Mathieu Guggumus Leguillon, the new BUNGALOW collection features chic and easy styles inspired by India that are perfect to wear almost anywhere around the globe. We recently talked with Maithili about her style and the story behind her new collection. Shop the BUNGALOW collection exclusively on our site.
Describe your personal style.
Hybrid. I like pairing opposites together. For example, structured pants with loose flowing shirts and vintage kaftans with sleek modern-day jewelry. I've never been concerned much by trends and prefer to wear things that suit my personality and world-view, irrespective of whether they are considered "in" or "out".
What was the first thing you bought that really meant something to you?
A Prada bag at 16 because it was my first flirtation with western couture. It was from pocket money from summer jobs, my parents would never have encourage such frivolity.
Who is your style icon?
My late grandmother, Chandu Morarji. She was effortlessly stylish without giving it a second thought. She dressed for herself and would be impeccably turned out, always with an air of casualness, even if she was dining alone. She mixed couture pieces with street finds, Indian with Western, shabby with the chic.
What is the inspiration behind the Bungalow 8 fashion collection?
The fashion collection was created five years ago in partnership with designer Mathieu Guggumus Leguillon. The BUNGALOW is about creating clothes that are rooted in India but global in language; it's about a mature and evolved expression of Indian-ness, not a kitschy and kurti 'made in India' interpretation. It's about combining Assam silks, khadis, paisleys and ikkats to create multi-layered clothes with flawless cuts, unusual permutations, complex silhouettes and immaculate detailing.
Do you wear more of Indian designers or Western designers? Who are your favorites and why?
Well, I wear a lot of our own in-house line 'The BUNGALOW' because they are effortless pieces in themselves that don't require much styling. I am am a fuss-free dresser and the clothes were created for 5-minute-out-of-the-door people like me. My pieces have the right balance of construction and de-construction, where they cling at the right places and leave me alone in the wrong ones. I am drawn to things that feel Indian yet international, pieces I could wear as easily in Mumbai as in New York. I feel our clothes travel really well in that sense. I like designers that are not defined by geography but rather those who are inspired by their histories and traditions --but are not limited by it. Amongst Indian designers, Sabysachi would certainly be one of my favorites. I'm drawn towards antique Indian textiles as well, and I am fortunate to be the receiver of several beautiful old saris from my grandmother.
What suggestions can you give our readers on how to mix up eastern and western fashion?
A great idea is to buy 'The BUNGALOW' online because our pieces do precisely that, combine traditional fabrics with modern day silhouettes.
Shop her collection:
Aaloka tribal clutch