Mumbai, India
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fabindia Travels East (And Back in Time)

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Fabindia went West and returned with East. Back home, we’re not impressed. The Indian retail giant reportedly bought a 25% stake in UK apparel and accessories brand East, and plans to open at least 200 stores across India. Judging from the latest one in Mumbai, we’re far from excited about the grand plan.

Back to the Future

Interestingly, East facilitates time travel; the hangers host kurta tops and crushed skirts that the city was wearing five years ago. The price tags, however, will catapult you back to the future; here, a simple cotton kurta costs Rs 1,500, and a wrinkled sleeveless dress, a cool four grand or so. The styles are boring, the prints, blah, and the silhouettes just don’t make the cut. No bohemian wrap-sodies, these!

Despite being disoriented from all the time travel, we were still thinking straight - why did Fabindia have to partner with a UK brand to retail styles that are inherently Indian? “With natural, organic fabrics, East’s fashion philosophy fits right in with Fabindia’s,” the store manager told us. We weren’t convinced.

Indigo Delhi
The Mykanos collection, with its crushed sleeveless dresses and cropped jackets make ripples of blues and greens in one corner of the store, while the Indigo Rose range splashes the other side with pinks and blues. The centre is calm with white linen pants and breathe-easy tops for summer. And yet, they fail to make for eye candy. The haveli-inspired collection coming up next, will hopefully be more appealing.

Putting their Necks on the Line
Saving face for East is the limited jewellery collection, surprisingly priced between approx Rs 60 and Rs 300. Our favourites were the wooden and bead cutaway flower earrings and necklace, and the chic shell danglers. We love the brooches at the UK store and hope to see them in Mumbai soon. It could have been haute hippie, but seems like this time machines is a little rusty.

Getting there:
Navroze building, next to Fabindia, Pali Hill, Bandra (W). Call 65150357.

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