By Carolyn Caldicott
If you only have enough time for one shop in Mumbai, put Fabindia top of your list; a four–storey, one-stop shopping mecca. From its well-intentioned beginnings of bringing rural, handcrafted, artisan products to an urban audience, Fabindia has transformed into a cool, uniquely Indian brand, popular with the downtown crowd. Fabindia’s clothes, fabrics and homewares are all made with natural, handwoven and printed materials, all with its signature contemporary-meets-traditional design. With a fab organic and paraben-free face and body range and their own organic and locally sourced food line, Fabindia has it all.
Designer kurtas, printed harem pants, silk shawls all start at around £10, Organic day cream £6.
Address: Fabindia, 137, M.G Rd, Kala Ghoda, Colaba,
This fun and funky high-end fashion store epitomises the ‘new Indian cool’. Bombay Electric has rapidly become the haunt of Bollywood stars and fashion folk, shopping for its cherry- picked, cutting- edge collection, created by India’s most influential and up-and-coming designers. With its mix of antique tribal jewellery, vintage pieces, hand woven scarves and cashmere one-off pieces, it is no wonder The New York Times named it ‘Barneys of Mumbai’. Modern Indian art adorns the antique walls of this futuristic store, making it a popular venue for cool events; Liz Hurley famously launched her new beachwear collection here, to the sounds of DJ Talvin Singh.
Designer womenswear starts at around £70 and accessories from £30.
Address: Bombay Electric, 1 Reay House, Best Marg, Colaba, bombayelectric.in
Open daily 11am- 9pm
For a real taste of Mumbai street life, head to the Crawford market area, full of the hustle and bustle of day-to-day shopping. The market itself is housed in a grand Gothic relic from the British Raj and is packed full of friendly stalls selling everything from the freshest fruit and veg to household staples. It’s a brilliant place for foodies to snap up spices and kitsch kitchen equipment at ridiculously low prices; there is even a luggage section if you go mad. Take time to wander through the maze of bazaars lining the streets north of the market, and bargain for silk and fabric, bangles (from 20p), tiffin tins (£3)… The list is literally endless.
Address: Crawford market, the corner of Dr DN Rd and Lokmanya Tilak Rd, Fort
Open 11am-8pm daily, closed Sunday
Levi's Store Chowpatty
Stock up on this season’s styles at this official Levi’s store. These are pukka, bang up-to-date, genuine Levi’s, not flaky backstreet fakes, and with prices at a fraction of the cost of those in the UK (£25 per pair), you can afford to splurge. Helpful and easygoing staff are on hand to help you find the perfect style, colour and fit. Every conceivable Levi’s design is available here, all at knock-down prices, so why stop at jeans? The store is in a sensational location, right on the seafront, at the famous sandy Chowpatty beach, Mumbaikers favourite sunset spot, so after shopping join the crowd for seaside snacks and watch the sun go down.
Address: The Levi’s Store, 33, Malabar View, Dr PurenderMarg, Chowpatty, Girgoan
Open 10am-8pm daily
An unassuming doorway, in a quiet, winding back street, hides an Aladdin’s Cave of treasure. For 60 years Chimanlals has been pioneering the art of handmade paper, taking inspiration from Mughal and Hindu design to create a myriad of beautiful and unique paper products at bargain prices. This small but perfectly formed shop is a forest of cards, writing paper, gift boxes, wrapping paper, gift bags and tags, journals and diaries in every conceivable colour, shape and size. All the paper is handmade, using tree bark and jute, and woven with wild flowers, leaves and silk, making every piece unique.
A pack of five hand-printed cards and envelopes costs around 50p and handmade wrapping paper is around 20p a sheet.
Address: Chimanlals, 210, Dr DN Rd (the entrance is on Wallace Street), chimanlals.com
Open 9.30am-6pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am-5.30pm Saturday.
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