Setting up to reside in the Barkers Building on Kensington High Street is not for the faint hearted.
This, the sixth incarnation from the group feels as though it was meant to be here, in this building, at this moment 80 years ago. In the 1930s, the global styles of Art Deco and Jazz swung into Bombay, shaking up the cityscape with their cheeky colours and patterns, quick tempo'd quicksteps and “hot” new music. Pianos appeared on cinema facades, swing bands were sold out and Bombay’s smart set loosened their trousers and cut a bob to be up to speed on the dance floor.
With the help of Naresh Fernandes – whose book Taj Mahal Foxtrot tells the story of Bombay in swing time – Dishoom Kensington remembers this golden age of Bombay jazz.
The Art Deco style first made the journey to India from the west in the early 1930s; and Bombay was quick to adopt the culture. By the 1940s, Bombay’s architects and designers had redefined European and American Deco in an Indian style, which combined classic motifs with their a unique and local character. Bombay Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, and innovation as it might have done in the west, but it also became a way for proud Bombayites to articulate a growing consciousness of their own national identity in the years before and after Indian Independence. Art Deco became so popular in Bombay that the city remains one of the biggest and best examples in the world of the style, second only to Miami.
The full story can be found here
Photography : John Carey