Radiating irresistible elements of grace and perfection through regal, authentic Indian ethnic wear.
Words Venuri De Silva
Photographs Rajeewa Bk and Vishwathan Tharmakulasingham
Holding its own identity in the global fashion arena, styles of traditional Indian wear have for decades been admired and worn with immense pride, by people of all cultures alike. Aura Haute Couture creates a unique platform of inspiration and rediscovery within the island of Sri Lanka; redefining the true elegance of authentic Indian fashion.
The launch of the boutique portrayed a glimpse of the distinguished experience that Aura will offer their customers. The invited guests, who comprised of dignitaries, celebrities and the socialites of Colombo, were greeted with not only the splendour of the store’s design and clothing; but also an understanding of the beauty of tradition and culture. The opening was blessed with the lighting of the oil lamp and then the guests were served an array of impeccable Indian delicacies, such as the Gulab Jamun, Samosas and Chola Bhaturas; as they revelled the elegant collections.
A black gate and an overhanging, simple but beautiful aqua sign with the symbol of Aura Haute Couture welcomes visitors to a boutique quite unlike others. Grand, black wooden columns frame the tiled walkway leading the way into the segmented sections of vibrant arrangements and displays, designed by Deepak Gupta, interior designer.
Every single detail of the boutique is exclusive to Aura. The mirror wall paints a Rajasthan touch with wooden and metal antique framed mirrors; while the stands, hangers and brass chains engineered to hold the weight of the clothing are all signature customisations. Despite the naturalistic foundations of the floor, and rock bases of the columns; Aura was designed to enchant customers with an aesthetic vision of a vintage lounge area. The fascinating blend of different cultures is highlighted through the wallpapers and furniture; with sofas and tables from India and Pakistan, carpets from Iran and chandeliers from Italy; the interior décor is a meticulous presentation of diversity. Wooden chests painted in expressive colours, with hand-crafted metal embellishments, as well as the in-built pond are beautiful additional features manifesting the uniqueness of the boutique.
Aura Haute Couture accentuates on the importance of presentation and authentic beauty; this being the ultimate aim of Thilani Withanage and Meenakshi Gupta for the brand. The hand-crafted pieces range from sarees, gowns, lehengas, kurthas as well as an exquisite bridal collection. The fabrics revolve around the likes of pure silk, Kanjivaram (or Kanchipuram), crêpe and georgette with texturing and detailing of intricate embroidery and embellishments. Aura features stunning collections of similar patterns from designers such as Satya Paul and Sabyasachi. Services for bespoke creations are also available. Meenakshi Gupta designs a majority of the items; the hand-picked, one-off pieces being exclusive masterpieces of elegance and sheer originality.
Unlike the general practice, the collections at Aura are presented as displays of art; showcasing the garments in frames, on mannequins or the customised racks, emphasizes every detail and element of the pieces. Bright ceiling lights, chandeliers and lanterns all around the boutique further highlight each specific shade of colour and intricate detailing.
The collections are complemented by alluring accessories, inclusive of footwear, handbags and jewellery. By catering for both bridal and elegant jewellery, Aura introduces the world renowned Indian classic Amrapali; adding to the pulsating radiance the boutique transcends.
In terms of the service afforded at Aura, customer satisfaction with an easy-going shopping experience is envisioned. Visitors are invited to sit down with friends or family, relax and truly celebrate the artistry found throughout the store. Customers also have the option of booking an appointment through which they can have a personalised interaction with Meenakshi. This helps to cater for a real insight into what exactly they are looking to purchase; the occasion is enhanced by the Indian snacks and refreshments offered.
Looking to the future, there are hopes of expanding the haute couture boutique into other countries, and catering to men’s wear as well. In a contemporary era of minimalism, what Aura brings to Sri Lanka is the vintage cultural touch, through exceptional craftsmanship and an eye for detail. The delicate elegance of each piece redefining the traditions of Indian fashion in Sri Lanka.
Aura Haute Couture
95 Rosmead Place, Colombo 7
(+94) 779 555 556
Opening hours:11am till 7pm (Daily)
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