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From hand-painted sneakers to Bollywood poster art, we scout out the best of Mumbai’s fashion and shopping scene.

Love From Bombay Yoga Mat Covers
Friday, 12 September 2014 11:33


What: Yoga mat covers by @Love_From_Bombay, Rs 800 for a regular size, Rs 900 for a large size, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to order.

Why: If you follow yoga instructor and practitioner Andrea Michele on Instagram, you’ll know that she breaks into asanas  pretty much everywhere – parks, beaches, vineyards, galleries. It’s only natural then, that this compulsive need to strike a (yoga) pose, would lead to a fashion-related venture. Presenting her new label Love From Bombay, which sells yoga mat covers made from fabrics with pretty Indian motifs. Her stretch of imagination also includes a line of active wear – a fun set of dual coloured leggings are currently in testing phase - “that’s comfortable, breezy and not transparent!”

When: You’d like a mat finish.

 
Shop: Bombay Electric’s New E-Shop
Thursday, 11 September 2014 11:13


 

Well-dressed men and women are taken to the guillotine, their heads later replaced by rounds of fabric swatchespineapples and watermelons. While a fruit is no replacement for a face, the beheaded still manage to look fashionable.

Welcome to Colaba boutique Bombay Electric’s new e-shop, a superbly strange online space – we expected nothing less – that sells clothes and accessories for men and women, books, music, and vintage odds and ends.

Trouser Browser

Considering this is our favourite boutique in Mumbai – during dramatic moments we’ve gone so far to call it our Tiffany’s – parts of the website felt familiar instantly. The men and women’s sections are super populated but still don’t look messy, with pictures alternating between garments on models and hangers. Currently, you can only shop by category and not designer.

Men will have a lot to browse but most of it is from Bombay Electric’s in-house Ghee Butter label. Boys, be found in the black Kumbh blazer; check out the cotton and leather Sammy backpack; and hunt down the regally green Ranthambore trousers. You can also buy their range of super soft and pricey classic shirts (Rs 7,900), printed Happy Socks, a random collection of sunglasses and belts.

Tilla Die

Women as always, have a ton of options with labels like Morphe, Bodice, NorBlack NorWhite, Tilla, Anupamaa, Little Shilpa, Amrapali and more. We’ve seen all of it during a trip to the store last month – looking forward to new collections – but it’s still fun to browse. Ladies, we’ve bought this leather cuff before and although slightly expensive, it’s proven to be one of our most useful buys. The Morphe and Bodice designs you’ve probably seen on Pernia’s Pop Up Shop already, so see instead fun Tilla dresses,refurbished vintage sunglasses and old brocade saris from Gujarat.

Bombay Electric offers free shipping in India, and promises that your parcel will be over in three to five days.

Odd, These Ends

Just like at the Colaba store, the site too has corners stacked with tourist traps reminiscent of street shops in Mumbai - silver tiffin boxes and flasks, paan containers and old Bollywood posters – that are prohibitively expensive. The Ducky Paan Peti is awfully cute, though.

Convenient, yes. Pretty, definitely. But we’re still partial to the touch and feel, smell and hellos at the Colaba space where you’ll find us trying a Manish Arora skirt we definitely can’t afford and rolling our eyes at the bowl of bracelets we last spotted on the train.

Getting there: Visit www.bombayelectric.in, men’s shirts start at Rs 7,000, tops start at Rs 3,000, Rs 7,000 for sunglasses.

 
Blue Frog Owner Starts Furniture Line
Thursday, 04 September 2014 10:41



 

What happens when an Art Director and a Production Head come together to make furniture? They set a new bench-mark.

After twenty five years of running shoots, budgets and innumerable projects, Srila Chatterjee, executive producer at Highlight films and founding partner at Blue Frog, has launched a home décor label in collaboration with production designer and art director Siddharth Sirohi.

Chair Persons

Working together on a project in Bangkok, they both discovered that they harboured décor dreams, so Srila and Siddharth decided to pool their resources in to create a label with an aesthetic that reflected their own style.

We visited the Highlight Films office yesterday, which functions as a ‘live office’ for their label, Highlight Living. A most convenient use of space, employees of the production company use the label’s desks, couches and display areas for meetings and everyday work. “Kind of like a working showroom,” says Srila.

Office Décor-um

In this office/ showroom, you will find earthy, ergonomic chairs, 50’s style coffee tables, desks and retro couches fitted with pretty furnishings from Anokhi in Kolkatta. The label sells their own designs, along with refurbished pieces of furniture.

We eyed the Begum desk, a simple design that combines a desk with a bookshelf made of pure teak; the eye catching, hot pink with Ikat fabric Sakshi chair (named after an employee who loved the piece) and the superbly shaped Hibiscus chair with pretty parrot furnishings. Most pieces are well priced with a teak desk costing Rs 40,000.

As much as we would’ve liked to leave with a bunch of furniture pieces (including Srila’s collection of art that’s not for sale), Highlight Living takes orders for the furniture, with a delivery period of about two weeks. They’re willing to customise designs, furnishings and ship to anywhere in country too, all at an extra cost.

Getting There: Highlight Films, Mathurdad Mills Compound, near Oh:Cha restaurant, Lower Parel, call 40344888, see their Facebook page here, Rs 30,000 for a chair +extra for fabric & taxes.

 
Store Review: The New Aza At Bandra (W)
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 10:58



The mahurat seemed right as fashion store Aza launched a three-storey store in Bandra (W) last week, just in time for the wedding season. Under layers of fabric and flounces of tulle, boxed in by embroidered borders, we visited the store last evening to find many mother-daughter duos in various stages of debate: how much, too much and much ado about nothing. Putting the hangar down and stepping away from to-be brides now.

When-dell in Doubt 

With large trial rooms, couches to contemplate on and lots of open spaces, the Aza store on Turner road is the brand’s largest outlet in the city, complete with the latest collections from designers like Malini Ramani, Wendell Rodricks, Payal Pratap, Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna, Crimzon, Malaga and more.

While their other outlets across the city will stock bridal, pret and couture wear, the Bandra store’s aim is to encourage upcoming talent and emerging designers from recent Fashion Weeks. We saw and liked the indigo dyed collection of breezy dresses and shirts from Divya Sheth, along with some fun, more elaborate ones from Pankaj and Nidhi on the ground floor. This level houses western wear, accessories and casual Indian wear, probably here you’ll be spending most of your browsing time.

We’ve never been gown people so the second floor was a bit much for us, however, it also stocks pret collections and menswear from designers like Gaurav Gupta, Sonaakshi Raaj and Sabyasachi. And the third floor, like we told you at the start, is for brides (heavy bridal and couture wear) so tread carefully.

For the Latest Fashion Week Loot

With just a few months to go for her best friend’s wedding, this writer’s using all the help she can get to find that perfect ensemble. If you’re scouting too, head over to the new Aza if you have the time, will and/or inclination to get lost in meters of fabric or be privy to entertaining mother-daughter conversations.

And if you just eyed a pretty dress at LFW and can’t wait to get your hands on it, skip the pre order wait, as the Bandra store currently stocks the new collections from Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive '14-15. Ramping up, indeed.

 

Getting there: Aza, 24, Turner Road, Bandra (W), call 9833281197, prices vary as per designer.

 
bpb Recommends: Neelibhringadi Hair Oil
Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:41


What: Arya Vaidya Shala Kottakkal Neelibhringadi Keratailam hair oil, Rs 142 for a 200 ml bottle, see here for centres in Mumbai.

Why: Bad hair day (f)oiling your plans? Try this long time bpb staffer secret - Neelibhringadi hair oil. It doesn't smell like roses, but its effects are sweet. Works against hair fall, premature greying and leads to long, lustrous locks. A little birdie told us that designer Sabyasachi Mukerji uses it as well. Chic leak!

When: For spring, summer, fall-icle, winter.

 
Shop: 5 Ice Buckets To Buy
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:16

 


Of all the ice bucket challenges floating around on the Internet, our favourite is the one with actor Patrick Stewart, who writes a cheque and then uses the ice bucket the way it’s supposed to be used – to add cubes to his single malt. Whether you plan to make a splash or make a drink, we’ve rounded up fun five ice buckets to buy.

Pagoda Ice Bucket from Le Mill

This sleek black ice bucket can be carried with one hand and is currenly at half off! Works as an ice bucket and to carry a bottle.

Available on lemillindia.com, Rs 2,090.

LED Ice Bucket from Wasted Fish

Perfect for parties, power cuts, or when you’re home drinking and missing the ambient light at The Ghetto.

At shop no 7, ground floor, Banarasi Apts, 30th Road, next to Toto’s Garage Pub, Bandra (W).

ID Ice Bucket from Tappu Ki Dukaan

This chrome brass and stainless steel bucket is pricey, but also elegant with a figure of a mean leaning over, as though looking for ice.

Available on tappukidukaan.com, Rs 5758.

Mandalay Wine Bowl Bucket from Good Earth

Almost identical to the ice bucket Lady Gaga used for her challenge, this silver wine bucket is broad enough to ensure you get soaked.

Available at Goodearth.in, Rs 14,500.

Beer Chiller Bucket from Happily Unmarried

Available in red and yellow, and more a tub less a bucket, this one will be great company at a house party.

Available on happilyunmarried.com, Rs 750.

 
What To Buy At #LFW2014
Friday, 22 August 2014 15:11


What: What to buy at Lakme Fashion Week 2014, at The Source, Palladium Hotel, Lower Parel, starts at Rs 3,000.

Why: After the Anavila show yesterday, we whirled around Fashion Week’s The Source to find a few things that you should keep your eye out for – an adorable chair shaped brooch from Mrinalini Chandra; embroidered and tie-dye brogues and ankle boots in fun colours by Kasha; chunky palmlets by Outhouse and a beige floral skirt by Dhruv Kapoor that could be mistaken for a garden. Also lurk around the S&M-esque Asa Kazingmei booth. We will return to check out Anavila and Raw Mango, which weren’t set up yet.

When: On until Aug 25.

 
Sponsored- The Asus Zenfone: Put A (T)ring On It!
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 20:17



***This post is sponsored by Asus***

When was the last time you upgraded your joy? Happiness 2.0 comes in the form of ergonomic design and seamless curves with the Asus Zenfone 4, 5 and 6, winner of the Red Dot Design Award in 2014.  Here’s why we’re excited about it:

Perfect For ButterFingers

With Gorilla Glass 3 – four times stronger than Soda Lime Glass – this phone is best suited for you, butter fingers. It’s also about 30% more finger print resistant and works to the touch of gloves as well. Perfect for your next ski trip!

Read Mode & Audio Wizard

The Zenfone has many redeeming qualities, but the Read Mode is our favorite. Compulsive users of the Kindle app, we love the fact that the Zenfone has a read mode that makes the screen less bright and more comfortable for your eyes.

Ears, there are treats for you too. The Audio Wizard offers surround sound that makes movies and music as much a collective experience, as a personal one.

18 Camera Modes

Your next vacation and vanity album will love the fact that the phone has 18 camera modes, including low light mode for photo and video; one that fixes your face flaws (not that you need it); Image Stabiliser to cut out the blurs; depth of field and of course, a special selfie mode. There are also nine special effect filters to transform your photos. Say cheese, already!

Faster Downloads

Geeks will be glad to know that the Asus Zenphone has better real world performance than most 4 or 8 Core CPUs. It comes with 64 Bit memory, high speed downloading ability and gives remote access to your PC from your phone!

Like it? Put a (t)ring on it!

Getting there: Buy the Asus Zenfone here, Rs 16,999 for Zenfone 6, Rs 13,990 for Zenfone 5(16 GB), Rs 10,000 for Zenfone 5(8 GB), Rs 5,999 for Zenfone 4

 
Product Pick: En Inde's Hausa Necklace
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 10:52


We at bpb has been collecting En Inde’s seriously drool- worthy necklaces for years now, hoarding thick ropes of cobalt blue and pendants shaped like fish bones; shells and silk tassel and ivory stilettos, glossy beads and neon ribbons strung together into jewelry that’s intricate and original like this black steel and leather Hausa necklace which we wear almost every day of the month. A look at their Instagram account and we’re eyeing this wicked new addition to the Hausa line of necklaces and these lovely matt gold spiked rings. Get necked up!

Getting There: Hausa necklaces by En Inde, available at En Inde, 125/126, First Floor, Meher Chand Market, call 49050832 and Second Floor Studio, 417, Shahpur Jat, Near Dada Jungi House, call 41420324, will ship to Mumbai, view En Inde’s Facebook page here. Rs. 13,000 for a Hausa necklace.


 
Morphe: Dresses for Guppies and Brides
Monday, 04 August 2014 11:00


 

For a couple of weeks now, we’ve been looking forward to getting a dress in the mail, anticipating all the places we would wear it to: brunch on the beach; a night out in Capri; the recent bpb bar night for Guppy by Ai, where we wanted to look a bit fishy. It would be perfect for all of these occasions, a little dress pieced together by shimmery blue-green waves, cool and hot and fun all at the same time.

Those of you familiar with the fashion magazines know which one we mean, the much-featured recent collection by Morphe, which also includes shirts and skirts, all for a pretty penny.

Green Eggs and Hems

We’ve been fans of the label ever since designer Shenali Sema took over from Amit Aggarwal, and so we stopped by to have breakfast (and do some shopping) with her and her team at their Okhla studio last week.

What we discovered: the upcoming collection is just as good as the current one, evolving the waves from delicate hues and translucent fabrics into a darker, stormier sea. Black and burgundy and navy, these pieces are cut from thick, rich fabrics and embroidered with dori work, perfect for a rainy night in Mumbai or a fall morning in New York. They will be rolled out soon, in stores carrying Morphe as well as the label’s online store, set to launch next month.

According to Shenali, an NID and Central St Martins graduate, the inspiration for the wave motif was the work of Japanese artist Katsushika Hokushai; she speaks fluently of other points of inspiration, from French label Celine to the wardrobe of “it” girl Alexa Chung, all of which manifest in her very international clothes.

Wedding Wows

A little Facebook stalking and we discovered that Shenali has a flair for designing wedding dresses too: she worked on one for her sister-in-law, a vintage-y white dress cut from cotton yarn with lots of floral elements, dreamy without being ridiculous. When pressed, Shenali admitted that Morphe would be open to working on custom wedding dresses, so to-be-brides, take note.

As for us, we’re still watching for that dress in the mail.

Getting There: Morphe, E49/7, Okhla Phase II, New Delhi.

 
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