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Thursday, May 19, 2011

India's Trendiest - Bombay Electric

Having been lost in a flurry of fashion shows and seeking out the clothes that we will all want to buy in the coming seasons, it is time now to return to some serious shopping and dining.  I had left off in the middle of my trip to India, so it is only fitting that I return there.
The Universe seems to be screaming “India” at me, from family moving there and my recent trip to business associations and the rediscovery of friends from long long ago.  Who am I to argue with the Universe?
Upon arrival in Mumbai last holiday season, I was immediately struck with the vast difference between Mumbai and Delhi.  Delhi is very spread out, more low lying buildings and businesses and homes hidden away in enclaves.  It has a feeling of being a cross between Los Angeles and Washington DC.  Mumbai on the other hand is a teeming modern cosmopolitan city congested with skyscrapers and traffic.  I immediately felt a kinship with it similar to my home of New York.
Driving through the city in cabs, I was intrigued by the multitude of interesting shopping venues and was so looking forward to diving in.  Alas, my trip was way too short.  As a first time visitor to Mumbai, I had to do the mandatory sightseeing, meet up with a dear long time friend living in Mumbai and to meet an on-line friend that I have been corresponding with for some time, an amazing person that I am so glad to have finally met in person!  Faced with this lack of time to pursue shopping destinations, I asked my Mumbai friends and my associate in the States if they could tell me a few “must see” shops for me to visit.  The resounding first answer on everyone’s lips was Bombay Electric.  Luckily for me, Bombay Electric was literally around the corner from my hotel, making it easy to fit into my hectic 3 days in Mumbai.

Housed in a historic heritage building that even has teak beams that were a present from the King of Burma, the interior of the store seamlessly blends the antique qualities of the building’s structure with a modernity that give this shop a vibrance that completely draws you in.  Not to be outdone by its interior, the merchandise it houses carries the same energy and excitement.  Bombay Electric  offers fashion for ladies, gentlemen, and kids along with an eclectic mix of jewelry, scarves, vintage pieces and gift items.  Known for nurturing rising Indian talent, the cutting-edge store carries cherry picked fashions from Indian designers like Manish Arora and Rajesh Pratap Singh.  Besides showcasing Indian talent, Bombay Electric also carries a select grouping of international collections such as Comme des Garçons and United Nude.  Alongside the fashion, you can browse through antique jewelry, hand woven scarves, cashmere and limited edition pieces.

A fave store of many of Bollywood’s brightest stars, Bombay Electric is the perfect place to find everyday wear or even to find that red carpet dress that you need for a special occasion or a night on the town.  However, Bombay Electric doesn’t limit itself to merchandise alone!  It utilizes its unique space for photography exhibitions, concerts and even launch parties (Elizabeth Hurley launched her swimwear collection in India here!).  Bombay Electric is literally a center for all things fashionable, stylish and artistic in Mumbai!

I wandered through the store trying to take it all in, from the wild colors and prints of Manish Arora to the old India vintage pieces.  I was particularly pleased that they also sold menswear and found myself putting on my wish list several pieces that were just my style, including some modern takes on classic Indian apparel.

Wherever I am in the world, I now keep abreast of what is happening in the store on their website and find such interesting things going on there that I am always glad that I was led to this jewel of a boutique!  Bombay Electric is now on the permanent list of stores that I have to visit whenever I am in Mumbai!  As Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune put it, “Bombay Electric, the cutting-edge store in Mumbai, could be a template for the new millennium of Indian style.”  Not only do I agree with Ms. Menkes, but I believe that it could be a template for international style!

by Mdivani Monroe of www.ladieswholunchtravel.com

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