Window Shopping> Bombay Electric
*An Indian By Design Exclusive*
I stumbled upon Bombay Electric a long time ago, while waiting for a friend to turn up. The light pole outside had a stunning face, like a bohemian 70 s star, with a bindi and high hair and the signage did justice to the name. I walked in, past the leisurely courtyard into the white brightly lit space. The interesting non-interfering decor aside, I was struck by the individuality the clothes had – they were quirky, unique, had a distinct sense of style, and were unlike the usual boutique picks. The merchandise was progressive, spunky and for people who knew themselves. I picked a book on matchboxes and walked out flagging many things I’d like to come back for. Featuring Priya Kishore’s sizzling Bombay Electric.
In conversation with Priya Kishore, the founder and Creative Director of Bombay Electric. Priya works with established Indian designers but also interacts closely with emerging designers, and gives support and advice to young talent. She sees the future of fashion as rooted in sustainable design, and works with several NGOs such as Women Weave, Aranya and Alba to develop traditional crafts and techniques in a modern context and ensure that it is the artisans who profit from their craft.
Indian By Design: Why Bombay Electric?
Priya: Bombay Electric is named after the energy and contrasts of the sprawling metropolis that is Mumbai.
Indian By Design: Who designed the place? What did you want someone to experience in this space?
Priya: My partner, Deepak Rajegowda and I designed the space. When you step into Bombay Electric, you enter a different world, away from the chaotic noise and heat of the streets, and into a kaleidoscopic feast for your senses.
Indian By Design: Around the world, India is still revered and recognised for its traditional work and prints. What is modern Indian Fashion to you and who do you think is doing some truly new and progressive work in fashion?
Priya: Modern Indian fashion draws on aspects of our heritage, and traditional concepts, and re-works them for a modern context. Take, for example, Gaurav Gupta whose innovations in draping are inspired by the sari, but whose sculptural creations look nothing like the traditional garment.
Indian By Design: How much of the store is about you and your personal taste?
Priya: The store isn’t really about me at all, it’s about the best of Indian design. When I buy for the store, I think of my clients, who are an amazing, interesting and diverse group of people.
Indian By Design: What or who is the hottest thing in Bombay Electric right now?
Priya: Cream Jewels has super hot jewellery. We keep selling out every time we get new pieces. I find their mix of traditional Indian materials and progressive styles quite irrisistable.
Indian By Design: Who would you love to showcase at Bombay Electric?
Priya: I was pretty happy when Comme Des Garcons came to Bombay Electric.
Indian By Design: What can we keep an eye out for in the future?
Priya: Gheebutter menswear: sustainable design, and yet completely on trend. Think unstructured jackets in sharp cuts, in organic hand loom fabrics.
Bombay Electric, 1 Reay House, Best Marg, Colaba, Mumbai – 400 001 INDIA. Open 7 days 11am – 9pm ph: +91 22 2287 6276. All store images courtesy the Bombay Electric website – Priya Kishore’s picture courtesy Lea Loves.
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