We’ve been reading Caitlin Moran’s absolutely hilarious feminist rant How To Be A Woman, and her chapter on fashion particularly resonated. “Before the high street,” she says, “women would make their own clothes, or see a dressmaker, so that everything we wore was an honest expression of who we were, and what we were comfortable with.” This doesn’t happen anymore she says, and we thought, “Challenge accepted!”
Behold our list of the handiest of Mumbai’s tailors - a sew good men, indeed!
Stylo Film Costumers: Bobby Cuts
Best known as the tailor who designed and stitched trousers and shirts for a twenty-something Rishi Kapoor in Bobby and Safari suits for Pran, Indru Khishnani and his family have been running this shop in Kala Ghoda for more than five decades now. Although he no longer works with the Bollywood fraternity, he can still make a pair of bell-bottomed trousers or a fully retro suit. He also does kurtas, suits, shirts and trousers for men and women. Lend him an eye, and he'll proudly show off the trophies he was awarded back in the day from various production houses. Next to Khyber restaurant, Kala Ghoda, call 9820099008, Rs 300 for a shirt, Rs 600 for a pair of trousers.
Pamela Wadia, Michelle Rodrigues: The White Wedding Dressmakers
Pamela, who works out of her home in Kalina, has been designing float-y gowns and poufy bridesmaid dresses for generations of Catholic families in Santracuz for the last 17 years. She’ll go fabric shopping with you and also suggest what sequins, buttons, stones and lace you can add. Place your order at least three to four months in advance, especially during wedding season (between October and April) to allow for trials and alterations. Bridesmaid who looks like a pumpkin, speak now or forever hold your centre piece. To make an appointment call 9322277790, starts at Rs 10,000 for a wedding gown.
Michelle, who has a workshop in Bandra, specialises in wedding gowns with elaborate drapes, cuts and intricate embroidery work. She’s great at cloning so go with magazine clippings. To make an appointment call 9920087573, starts at Rs 15,000 for a wedding gown.
Waghela Brothers and Manish Jolly: The Sari Blouse Specialists
At Waghela Brothers, Kishore will be your bosom buddy, stitching sari blouses from scratch in a week. The soft spoken masterji does neat, perfectly fitted blouses. 12, Anju Shopping Centre, Tilak Road, Santacruz (W), call 65716579, starts at Rs 750 for a blouse.
Take your own sample or choose from the many designs at this blouse-only tailor shop, which will yield a perfectly fitting blouse in one week. If you ask nicely, Mr Manish might make you a body-hugging petticoat as well. Opposite Shalimar Hotel, in the lane next to Millionaire, Kemps Corner, call 23892144 or 9820840987, start at Rs 1,100 for a blouse.
Kings Fabrics and Tailors: Suit Up, Fast!
Have to play James Bond tomorrow? Go to King’s, where you can select suit fabric and have them stitch you one in six to seven hours. On the double (breasted)! 7, Akbar House, NF Road, Colaba, 22824629, starts at Rs 6,000 for a suit.
Parmar Tailors: The Altered Family
This family-run business has fixed the neighbourhood’s hemlines, and even sewn on the shiny buttons on the shirts of a few Bollywood bigwigs. While the daughters are known to be very neat with alterations, patriarchs Hemant and Kishore are better at creating outfits from scratch. Frequenting stylists advise you to take a sample design along and be prepared to argue over deadlines. 67/A, Dr Ambedkar Road, Khar (W), call 9969843960, starts at Rs 50 for hemline alteration.
Kishmish: The Clean Cutters
The crafty seamstresses behind Kishmish, who’ve retailed at upscale stores like Melange and Bombay Electric, also do bespoke linen clothing for men and women. From clean-cut dresses to airy linen shirts and kurtas, they do deceptively simple designs that can be customised to your size, style and colour preferences. Colaba, call 9820031361 to make an appointment, starting at Rs 2,000 for a basic shirt.
Dress Dada: From Jekyll to Hyde
Avinash Punjabi: Suitwalla To The Stars
He’s tailored sharp suits for Vogue Fashion Director Anaita Shroff Adajania’s style subjects, as well as Bollywood actor Imran Khan. Shiny!
Golden Boutique, shop 4, opposite Colaba Police Station, Mandlik Road, WG Union Road, Colaba, 22028327.
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