India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Fashion
April 28, 2016

Au Revoir, Bombay Electric

Text by Wyanet Vaz

An ode to ‘maharaja punk’, avant garde fashion and the fabulous line called Gheebutter

When Bombay Electric recently leaked the news of their move to London, we started a trust fund for bi-annual trips to the British capital. Mumbai is going to miss one of its few progressive fashion boutiques. Good Energy since 2005 — their Instagram handle aptly defines the boho sense of style, while cleverly representing fashion, crafts, design and various artist communities. Their Gandhi Jayanti campaign with handmade pieces was a cool shout-out to indigenous designers and sustainable fashion. As an ode to their #IndianNewWave and fresh perspectives, owner Priya Kishore (also a regular on Verve‘s Best Dressed list) talks to us about her favourite collaborations and best moments.

Looking back…
“The first collection I ever bought for Bombay Electric was Small Shop, perhaps the most underrated label in India. From their first line, I remember an amazing appliqué black blouse, and a multicolour thread embroidered piece that felt like the love child of Comme des Garcons and Tsumori Chisato.”

Making memories…
“My heart swells when I think of our sixth anniversary party where guests lay on divans and rugs in our garden looking at the stars. Talvin Singh played two incredible concerts, one for Japan Aid, where a diverse crowd from Monica Dogra to Shireen Gandhi danced amongst the racks. I’ll never forget when on a sleepy Tuesday afternoon a client started break-dancing by himself in the middle of the showroom.”

Favourite line…
“I keep coming back to the understated elegance of Gheebutter. It’s a collection we designed to improve with age – something so contrary to the traditional notion of fashion becoming obsolete after a season. Why shouldn’t clothes be like humans and fine wine? The more you wash Gheebutter, the more soft it becomes, and the more you enjoy it.”

Moving out…
“We’ve always been known for creating a sensory experience, from the music to the smell and feel of delicious fabrics next to your skin. Till date, I love spending time in the showroom, walking around, touching pieces, taking in the colours and installations. However, these are all the elements that can be beamed over to London.”

Nostalgia Lane 

Here’s what designers, the city’s fashionistas and frequent visitors will miss most about the store…

“We have been retailing at Bombay Electric for almost 10 years now and have seen both my company and the store grow in various ways. I still remember when I did a solo promotion few years back at the store…  it was a huge success and since than there has been no looking back. I believe this will also remain a fond memory of the relationship I share with Bombay Electric.”
-Anupama Dayal, Designer (Anupamaa)

“Besides apparel and accessories, the store had some beautiful vintage paintings that caught my eye — especially the ones with idols of Gods and Goddesses. I found them very fascinating! Also, they were my first retailers, and my first interaction with the public and the media. My most unique products were sold from there. The fact that it is moving makes me really emotional.”
-Karishma Shahani-Khan, Designer (Ka Sha)

“I’m so glad Bombay Electric is reaching the UK, and will make citizens of the world feel fresh. It’s been my favourite store in Bombay for ages! Time to spread the love.”
-Monica Dogra, Singer and actress

“I will miss the curation of things at the store! They sell the most avant-garde products not only in Bombay, but in the entire country. Besides, it is located in the most beautiful part of the city.”
-Shani Himanshu, Designer (11:11)

“As a customer, long before I started my own line, I loved shopping at Bombay Electric. It was everything a store should be. I would walk in with such enthusiasm each time, knowing that I would be hit with creativity, electric goodness and magic. So beautifully and articulately curated, it was a customer’ delight and I would always walk out with all my senses charged. Colaba is not going to be the same without you, from those electric lights, the magical sunsets, and the prancing around. Also, I have no idea where to go shop for all these colourful goods any more!”
– Riddhika Jesrani, Jewellery designer (Riddhika Jesrani Jewellery)

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