D7: is a nice little complex in Khar where you can experience some high-end, casual Indian designers all in one place, including those listed below…
Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna: my favorite shop in the complex, and one of my favorite Indian labels, period. RG + RK sell sophisticated separates in solid colors which often makes wonderful use of delicate cut-outs, elegant draping, and lots of thickly clustered sequining. When I last visited the range was divided into a hibiscus pink, slate and silvery greys (covered in thick metallic sequins to elegant effect), and lemon yellow. Prices generally range from 6,000 to 16,000, but some complicated pieces are more, for instance a sequined dress for 34,500. On their website, the designers describe their aesthetic as modern and minimal; certainly, nothing in the store could be described as thoughtless or tacky.
RajeshPratapSingh: Next-door, RPS sells simple, starched cotton shirts and tunics in an array of colors, often with stitching as embellishment. Prices run from 5,000-15,000. Understated and sophisticated.
Ranna Gill: Ranna Gill sells bright tops (Rs. 5,00-7,000)and dresses, (Rs. 7000-9000) often in jersey fabric, which are on the flashier side of the spectrum. Think a lot of pink, jungle prints, and the like. Think beading, prints, embroidery, tassels—the works, and often all at once. Kind of tacky, but you might find a great dress to go out in. Also sells Indian style salwars and the leggings to go along.
Namrata Joshi: Next is Namrata Joshi, where you can find nondescript Indian-style tunics, often with embroideries. Nothing to write home about.
Pankaj Ahuja: I found some lovely chiffon tunics in here, some with long blouse-y sleeves, that had richly embroidered appliqués of birds and flowers.
Turning Point Building
Junction of 1st and 16th Road
022 2648 5622
Daily, 11am to 7.30pm.
ATTIC: I realize I keep using the phrase “Bombay kitsch” in my descriptions, but it really is a distinctive and prevalent design aesthetic here in Bombay. Maybe it’s better described as Bombay pop-art. Anyway, the look makes use of Bombay’s most iconic colors and symbols: the black and yellow taxi, the Bollywood mustache, the Haji Ali at pink sunset, “Horn OK please” and so on…
And nowhere is this look more available than at Attic, in Khar (the area north of Bandra and south of Juhu near Linking Road.) Attic is full of all kinds of the odds and ends that make for spectacular souvenirs and presents: printed cotton tees, mugs, notebooks (Rs. 300), ties, pillows with prints of Hendrix and Elvis, wooden picture frames, bright canvas printed sneakers, baskets full of bangles from Ritika Sachdeva, and much more.
I came away with a pair of cloth shorts silk screened with a design of Bombay taxis, belted with a bright yellow ribbon (Quirk Box, Rs. 1,450.) Some other favorites were: the tops and dresses printed with bicycles in citrus colors (Rs. 1690-2690), the cloth bags with friendly messages (“smile!”—Rs. 2,700), and a white cotton dress with an empire waist by in-house label Half Full: the bust was embroidered with apples, and along the hem ran some grosgrain ribbons. Lovely. (Rs 3,600)
I also admired their eclectic collection of children’s books, including: “Mahabarata, A Child’s View”, “The Night Life of Trees”, and “Trash! The Ragpicker Children and Recycling.”
Bir Sagar 396/20, Flat #1, End of 17th road, Khar
022 6565 0444
Daily, 11am to 8pm
LABEL by RITU KUMAR: Label is another great place to pick up some clothes that are a fashionable mix of Indian and Western styles. Great value for money, with tops starting at Rs 1000 and dresses at around Rs 2000. I’ve bought a bunch of great little dresses/ tunics in fun prints here, and they make perfect beach cover-ups.
The store listed here is on Waterfield Rd. in Bandra, but there are many others around the city, including one at the Trident Hotel, one at Phoenix Mills, and one on Juhu Tara Road.
187 Turner Rd., opposite Moti Mahal
022 2640 4466
Daily, 11am to 8pm