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24.04.2017

We visited the new jewellery store on Waterfield Road expecting a beach holiday: it's that kind of weather, you know, and a deep-sea dive into the Instagram accounts of Outhouse founders Kaabia and Sasha Grewal fills us with a sense of coastal well-being from all the palm fronds and waterfronts.

But Outhouse is a jungle safari, and we don't just say it because it's filled with sleek peroxide panthers on opening day, stalking gracefully around a friendly little store, peering into mirrors bright as sunlit watering holes.

Vector-ia Terminus

Outhouse’s 'Papilio’ motif, inspired by butterflies and other colourful fluttering chits, dominates the collection at the store. Dragonflies and moths fashioned from Swarovski crystal shine, set in enamels and bell metals that offset their dark, secret gleam very nicely. The insects look ready to attack; the metals look like armour.

There's something exciting about this aesthetic: it manages to give the impression of geometric austerity even though it's made with an extravagance of curves, curls and representational forms. A lot of jewellery along these lines tends to look like it was conceived in a lepidopterist's office, but this isn't the case at Outhouse. The animals buzz  -- not literally -- from pendants, looking like you could launch them as magic weapons from their perches on slim chains, shoulder-skimming pendant earrings and chunky knuckle dusters. This collection is not for those who put their neck on the line for minimalism.

The insects look ready to attack; the metals look like armour. This collection is not for those who put their neck on the line for minimalism.

At its least interesting, Outhouse’s jewellery might look like it was meant to be worn by minor guests at a Dothraki wedding, probably the people who were planning to sneak out after drinks, and got a seat near the, er, outhouse. (As an aside, has anyone figured out why this grown-up, seemingly self-confident brand is named after a synonym for the facilities?) 

Long necklaces in dull gold and copper are smart and versatile, but don't quite make you smack your lips the way the crystal pieces do. That's not to say the metals never manage to hold their own: a long, jagged needle of an earpiece in dull gold made us think of a hunting spear, excitingly without looking in the least like one. 

Our Instagram-stalking put us fully in the mood for some of this sparkly aggression, and we went in prepared to return with butterflies on our shield. Alas, our courage failed us at the last minute, and we were left trying on a much more minimal spin on the theme: drop earrings made of black-green crystal, shaped like the body of an elegant but flightless gnat, and light as a feather. If you don't see us again for a bit, forgive our indisposition, and remember that old Ogden Nash poem: “A Glossina morsitans bit rich Aunt Betsy / Tsk-tsk, tse-tse.”

Getting there: Outhouse, shop 6, Waterfield Road, Bandra, opposite TBZ Jewellers. A pair of dragonfly-coloured earrings costs Rs 14,000. 

Accessibility: Ground-level store entry, but beware the crumbly pavement and potential parking worries.

 

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