People have this idea that designers live behind glass walls and marble, but honestly, all of us still step out into the streets and source raw material. Here are some of my favourite spots to shop in Mumbai.

Fabrics From Nalli’s And Mangaldas

One place young fashion enthusiasts can go to is Mangaldas Market in town to look at what fabrics are available at this wholesale market.

Although I’ve always created my own fabric – I like the small fabric stores around Khar, and I can even stop the car right outside Dadar station if I find a print interesting. It’s about making a trip and keeping your eyes open.

 

Photo source: Nalli

Photo source: Nalli

A good shop I like to buy beautiful silks from is Nalli’s at Matunga. It’s also a good idea to go to exhibitions happening in the city at perhaps Bandra Reclamation, where you can often find one-off things that shops don’t have, and of better quality.

Check out Mangaldas Market at Janjiker St, Lohar Chawl, Kalbadevi. Contact them at +919636734445, or visit between 11am and 8pm to buy wholesale fabric at INR 1,000 and upwards.

Check out Saroj Fabrics at 501, Linking Rd, Khar West. Contact them at 02226000544, or visit between 10am and 9pm for fabrics at INR 800 and upwards.

Check out Nalli’s Silk Sarees at 401 Concerns Building, Telang Road, Matunga East. Contact them at +919820062264, or visit between 10am and 8pm for sarees at INR 500 and upwards.

Bead And Trims From Bhuleshwar Market

Sometimes, I also find beautiful beads, trims, sequins at Bhuleshwar Market. One has to look from shop to shop, pick up what catches the eye, and then it’s all up to what you make of it.

Photo: Meena Kadri via Flickr

Photo: Meena Kadri via Flickr

I’ve found that Elco market and Manish market are the tailoring hubs of the city – you have to scour the market, try out the tailors there with trial and error and find your match.

Check out Bhuleshwar Market and  BMC Market, Bhuleshwar Rd, Marine Lines East, Panjarpole, Bhuleshwar, where you get beads and trims for INR 100 upwards.

Check out Elco Market on Hill Road in Bandra West for tailoring services for INR 100 and upwards.

Check out  Manish Market at Manish Nagar Shopping Centre, Varsova Road, Manish Nagar, Four Bungalows, Andheri West to avail of fabric for INR 500 and upwards.

Colaba Causeway And Cottonworld

For an everyday look, I like to buy my shirts from Cottonworld because they use high quality fabric, have nice cuts for work and are generally classic and simple. For special occasions, I make my own clothes.

As for women, there’s so much to choose from, from designer boutiques, to high street fashion to even something cute you find on Colaba Causeway or Fashion Street, if you are around sourcing for fabrics. Fashion is increasingly becoming more geographical, with boutiques in varied areas like Kala Ghoda, Kemps Corner and Bandra, so that people from all over the city can go and visit it.

I’m fond of vintage clothing but here they’re often just viewed as old clothes and don’t have an organised channel.

Shop online for Cottonworld here, or find one of their Mumbai outlets here. Call them on 02222850070, or visit a shop between 10.30am to 8pm. Check out their Facebook page here.

Horticultural Shops And Banana Chips

Photo: Rajesh Krishna Kumar via Wikimedia

Photo: Rajesh Krishna Kumar via Wikimedia

The Mount Mary cathedral in Bandra has a very peaceful vibe and gives you a small glimpse of the sea. The Versova fishing village has got great character, and is wonderful if you want to see how the fisher-people live and what their culture is like, especially when giant trollers with fish are brought out, provided that you can bear the stench. If you are a gardening enthusiast like me, there are two beautiful horticultural shops near the zoo in Byculla which have fantastic produce for growing your own herbs, basil, rosemary, thyme at home.

I love the South Indian hub around Matunga where you get the most amazing filter coffee at Ramashray and fabulous banana chips fried right outside, the fish in Gomantak in Dadar, Sindhi food in some other part of the city, the Parsi cafes in South Bombay, and the different pockets of civilisation spread across the city.

More than anything, Mumbai is made of its people – the vendor who sells chiwda in Dadar, someone you’re buying fabrics from in Mangaldas, or a woman selling gajras at the traffic signal – and all of these people bring a texture to the fabric of the city and that’s what makes it really special.

Check out Ratanshis Agro – Hortitech in Byculla East at Doctor Baba Saheb Ambedkar Road, Byculla East, Byculla. Call them on  02223723296 or visit between 9.30am and 6.30pm.

You can have a look at Nachiket Barve’s collection here and visit his studio {on appointment} by calling 022 – 67535602.

Featured photo: Athul Prasad/LBB