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Fashionable facades, her forte

Interior designer Pauline Jagdish has a novel interest... dressing up windows to ensure that a product is displayed to advantage. Most jewellery stores in the city reflect her creative flair.

PAULINE JAGDISH has an unusual occupation... dressing up windows. Literally. An interior designer by profession, Pauline specialises in shop window displays, exhibition stall designs and murals. Her creative skills are visible in most of the city's well-known jewellery showrooms, including Prince, Khazana, Kuber, VBJ, Mustafa, OKJ, Vummudi Kannan and Sons, G.R. Thanga Maligai, VBC, Nakoda, Kamadhenu, Shree-Temple of Gold, Kanishk, and others such as P.Orr & Sons, Raymonds, Lifestyle and Kalpadruma.

A graduate in Fine Arts from the College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, ("That's where I met my husband," she reveals with a shy smile), Pauline says she has inherited her sense of aesthetics from her aeronautical engineer father and artistically inclined mother. Her passion for sketching and drawing did in a way lay the foundation for her profession, she adds.

After a one-year Exterior Interior course in interior designing and a seven-year tenure in Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan as an art teacher, Pauline decided to go it on her own. "I think teaching art in PSBB honed my skill further. The sound and light shows and other such projects that I organised offered me ample scope to unleash my creativity," says Pauline.

Her first shop window display project was for P.Orr & Sons sometime in 1991. She also worked on some residences. Her first assignment with a jewellery store — Prince Jewellery — happened, and after that, there was no looking back for the mother of two.

So how does Pauline go about planning on the look, design and materials for a particular window? "First of all, the customer's requirement and the product to be displayed have to be kept in mind. Then comes the location of the shop, which plays a very important role in deciding the kind of display. Generally, I change the façade of the outlet. For example, if there are two or three small windows, I rework that to make it one large one, so that the overall effect is dramatic. Then, I make two or three different sketches. Once the design is chosen, then with the help of my team of carpenters and artists, the design is given shape. We normally work through the night to set up the window," explains Pauline. A window display is left undisturbed for about three months.

As for the materials used, they vary from plaster of Paris to wood. "Again it depends on the product." Pauline prefers to use plaster of Paris for jewellery displays, while wood, fibreglass or aluminium sheets are preferred for others. Colour stones and acrylic are often added as embellishments. Some of Pauline's innovative designs include the one with a wedding theme for Nakoda Jewellers, Sowcarpet, and murals done for Kuber Jewellers on Cathedral Road, which resemble a pendant. As for the cost, "it depends on the materials used and could vary from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 30,000."

Ask Pauline what inspires her designs and pat come the reply, "Nature and her hues. I am a keen observer and adapt the colour combinations in Nature into my creations."

Pauline's "backbone" is her family. "My husband has helped me a lot, while my daughter, a NIFT graduate, and son, an engineering student, offer their suggestions. In fact, every time I complete a window, I tell them to take a look at the final product."

An aspiring singer, who also writes poetry, Pauline loves to read books on positive thinking. She also hopes to pursue a career in singing and art direction. Meanwhile, the city's windows beckon her. Pauline Jagdish can be contacted at 98410-92469 or


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