Mumbai, India
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pylones: Very Close to Wonderland

Who could have guessed that a whisky flask (our absolute favorite object at Pylones) could be so charming, or a skipping rope so ridiculous?

A foray into Pylones is like falling down Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole and right into the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The store’s whimsical toasters with bright floral prints would certainly fit in there, as would kooky cake cutters, slant-eyed rice bowls, satirical salad tossers and demure espresso cups, sitting pretty with a set of angle wings in lieu of handles.

As we circled the little kiosk, we imagined the Queen of Hearts grooming herself with a Pylone buxom-babe nail file, enamel hair brush and crazy-cat pin, tapping her long-stemmed cigarette against the portable ashtray and commanding “Off with her head!”

And just as visions of a gruesome beheading by the ferocious-looking staple remover started swimming in our brains, a helpful clerk jerked us out of our reverie with a polite “Can I help you, ma’am?”

That’s the effect Pylones, a French design store, has been having on customers in Europe, United States, New Zealand and more for over two decades, and it’s finally in Mumbai. The little kiosk at Phoenix Mills doesn’t have the jumbled charm of Pylones’ Paris store, or the vast inventory of the two-floor outlet in Midtown Manhattan, but it’s a welcome splash of sunlight in the otherwise blah space. Starting at Rs 400 for a pair of hair clips, you’ll find the prices steep, but won’t be able to resist the happy designs.

Also, watch out for fresh stocks of the jewelry (the Mumbai outlet only has a couple of rings right now) and handbags that are favorites at Pylones globally. We’re especially hoping that the transparent carry-all with pressed flowers and dried leaves, which we spied in New York recently, reaches the Mumbai store soon.

But for now, we’re content with the kabuki-headed umbrellas, and are sure that you will be too.

Getting There: Pylones @ Taabir, Grand Galleria Mall, Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, call 66626704.

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