Tag Archives: fabindia

Shopping By Neighborhood: Kala Ghoda


If, for whatever reason, you feel the need to snatch up Western designer duds whilst in Bombay, Kitsch is probably your best bet. Stocks a tiny and well curated selection of brands, including Stella McCartney, Hervé Leger, and Lanvin. Be forewarned—Kitsch does not absorb the price of the import duties, so, if you can afford these clothes in the first place, you might be better off just buying a ticket to the states and shopping there. Or pay the shipping fees on Net-A-Porter.

N.B. that it’s odd that the least kitschy place in Bombay snapped up that name. Kitsch is anything but.

48, Dr V. B. Gandhi Marg
Near Rhythm House
Kala Ghoda

Monday to Sunday, 11am to 8.30pm


Sabyasachi sets the tone with an alluring entrance: before your hand reaches the door it has mysteriously swung open, tumbling you into a wonderland-like rabbit hole of mustachioed maharajas, enameled mirrors, old ticking clocks, and dapple-cut lamps. It’s… entrancing! (Pardon the pun.)

For my money, the final showroom doesn’t quite measure up to the promise of these first two foyers, but the clothing is undeniably beautiful. Even if you’re not looking to buy, Sabyasachi, a rising star in the internatioal fashion firmament, is a fabulous place to view intricate and traditional ceremonial sarees, kurtas, etc. There are also stunning displays of gems, so luxurious that I shied away from asking the price, as I’m so obviously an imposter.

Unfortunately, none of the charming curios are for sale, but if you fall in love—never fear! Head to Mini Market.

52 Dr. V. B. Gandhi Marg
Near Rhythm House
Kala Ghoda

Monday to Saturday, 11am to 7.30pm; closed on Sunday.


Fabindia is a veritable emporium of affordable Indian silhouettes in an endless array of bright, fun prints and colors. The cuts and styles are simple and don’t scream “India!” in that annoying way, so you can bring separates home and integrate them into your everyday wardrobe. My favorites are the blousey harem pants or the short sleeveless kurta tops. They also have stunningly beautiful and affordable scarves and dupattas.

And the price is practically impossible to beat, especially since the quality is incredibly high. Furthermore, your money is being well-spent—Fabindia is run by married couple who source their fabrics and products from over 7,500 craftspeople and artisans across the country. They’ve also made a commitment to maintaining traditional handloom weaving and printing techniques. And most impressively, Fabindia promotes the market-based poverty-alleviation and financial inclusion models through its reliance on community-based companies owned by local craftsmen to source the products.

My favorite stuff at Fabindia, though, isn’t the clothing—it’s the furniture and home wares, which are cheerful, affordable, and often very lovely.

And if you get hungry…

Head to KALA GHODA CAFE for a snack. It’s one of a kind in Bombay, and absolutely worth experiencing. Try their own delicious blend of joe alongside a Melly Salad or a sandwich or waffles.


Shopping for home decor in Mumbai

Towels at Fabindia

There are three great, affordable chains in Mumbai where you can stock up on fun home accessories to decorate your kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom with:

FABINDIA: If you want bright, Indian-inspired home décor for unbeatable prices, look no further than Fabindia. The flagship store in Kala Ghoda has walls lined with bright fluffy towels, washcloths, dishtowels, sheets, bedspreads, pillowcases, curtains and anything else you might need, in fun and constantly changing patterns.

Fabindia also stocks some great accessories like lampshades, picture frames, vases, candles, bath products, and recently, I even spotted a little globe.

THE GOOD EARTH:  The Good Earth takes Indian home furnishing to new levels of awesomeness and sophistication. They have a series of collections covered in designs ranging from lotus-splashed Buddhist-chic to Technicolor Bombay kitsch. These designs are splashed across multi-product lines which often include a wide array of products: plates, cups, pitchers, table clothes, and so on.

The flagship store in Raguvanshi Mills, Lower Parel, sells all the collections, as well as some really beautiful wooden furniture, and everything else from lotus shaped candles, to fragrance-oils, to yoga-wear, to  to cow-print toilet paper.

The Good Earth isn’t cheap, but comparatively to cities like New York or London, you get good value for money. And the design aesthetic is truly charming and original. I wouldn’t mind decorating my entire apartment in The Good Earth (and many well-heeled Mumbaikars do.)

ANOKHI: Anokhi is the best store to pick up traditional Indian textiles at reasonable prices for no hassle. Anokhi is famous for its hand-made block prints, meaning that a design is carved into a block of wood, and then applied by hand in a pattern onto bedspreads, blankets, tablecloths, cushion cases, and so on. Think of Anokhi as Fabindia’s more expensive and more sophisticated older sister. And perhaps prettier.

Anokhi is also applies its block printing (and other traditional techniques like beading and embroidery) to a line of clothing. The clothes straddle the line between Indian and Western—a mix, we’ll say between Indian-inspired Western-wear, and Westernized Indian digs. Definitely a great place to pick up staples for your trip around the rest of the sub-continent. Prices run from about 500-1000 rupees for basic clothing (11-22 USD)

Keep an eye out for: light-weight scarves (350 INR), duffle bags (850 INR), and Anokhi’s great blankets (2750 INR for a double.)