This was scouting the old school way, from before the age of Facebook and Twitter, when we roamed dusty neighborhoods and slouched around half-constructed garages coaxing sneak peeks and intel out of watchmen and carpenters, managers and line chefs. As we confronted the tantalizingly ajar door of Obataimu’s new and mostly complete store in Kala Ghoda yesterday, the routine came back and within a minute we were inside, courtesy of a smiling, smoking, gullible workman. Voila!
Breaching the Thread-locks
We have been fans and patrons of Obataimu for the past couple of years, when the label began popping up with interesting clothes and cool (but largely useless) products at Bombay Electric, KGC’s back room and most recently, Design Temple in Colaba. But this new space, thimble-sized and black-and-white, dominated by crowded clothes racks, a multi-headed yellow lamp, bleached wooden doors and a lollipop-filled fishbowl is the most permanent and appealing of the label’s homes.
Riffling through hangers we spotted several familiar pieces, like a collection of black and white yoga gear similar to that at Design Temple; a steel hued Nehru coat for men from the KGC days and a seriously cool grey-and-white face-print blazer; if one of us Scouters didn’t own a pleated skirt made from the same fabric and a reversible coat with identical fit, we would snap it up in an instant.
But there was plenty we haven’t seen before, including pale beige t-shirts nudged awake by appliquéd, snowy white swans; a cloudy, storm blue knit men’s sweater that made us sigh; high-waisted, full-skirted dresses made from patches of saturated colour. These colours echo throughout the stock, in solid shorts with checkered lining for men and a furrowed blue whiskey flask, as well as less successfully in ruched, brief dresses that appear cloyingly sweet and tarty at the same time and clichéd cotton t-shirts stamped with words like “spoilt” and “hungover”.
An Open and Closet Case
As mentioned above, the store hasn’t opened yet, so the stock may be a work in progress. Still, the pieces provide enough incentive to return when the cash register is ringing (note: Obataimu’s clothes tend to be pricey, with a printed silk skirt retailing at approximately Rs 7,500) and we can score patchwork dresses, narrow cut checkered shirts and best of all, a lollipop from the fishbowl.
Getting there: Next door to Kala Ghoda Café, Ropewalk Lane, Kala Ghoda, slated to open next week.
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