Nadezna Siganporia / April 6, 2018
What strikes you first when you enter Anavila Misra’s Mumbai studio and retail store are two arresting portraits of khatwa artisans, who worked on her saris. With no makeup and minimal ornamentations, the beautiful ladies exude a quiet confidence, reflecting Misra’s designs and the vibe of the studio.
With a background firmly grounded in academics, Anavila always had an inclination towards beauty and aesthetics but never thought of becoming a designer. It was only after completing her business degree that she decided to take the plunge. Armed with a love for textiles, she took a chance with linen for her sari designs. “It gives me great joy to see linen becoming a staple in homes,” gushes the designer, who’s currently working on her new home line. In 2016, when she was in need of a bigger studio, she stumbled upon this quiet oasis in the bylanes of Khar and took another career leap.
It was her love for nature that got her excited about this location. “I saw the outdoor area and envisioned what could be done. Since it was too big for just a studio, we started our retail store as well,” she beams. The space is minimal with a hint of a raw, industrial vibe. Exposed brick walls, painted creamy white and cool grey form the backdrop against which her designs are displayed. Behind sheer, ivory drapes is the studio packed with armoires from Chor Bazaar, curios from her travels and mood boards brimming with ideas. She says, “We wanted it to be an extension of the brand…The contemporary aesthetic had to come through.”