Follow AsiaStore’s Chief Merchandising Officer Anne Godshall as she scouts out the latest designs in Asia.
It’s another hot one today…topping the charts at 43c. I’m afraid to ask what that translates to in Fahrenheit! My friends Meenu and her daughter are joining me for today’s excursion. First stop is the Crescent, a beautiful shopping plaza, housing India’s elite designers, including Satya Paul (an AsiaStore exclusive in the US) Manish Arora and Namrata Joshipura (also names you’ve seen at AsiaStore) The collections are a blend of eastern and western silhouettes…with a style that is uniquely Indian.
From there we are off to Dilli Haat, an open air marketplace, featuring a wide array of Indian handicrafts. Just inside the gates, I spot a grouping of beautiful melange silk shawls. Unfortunately, the color selection is a bit limited and I’m not convinced that the price is quite right, so best to wait. On to bangles, where Meenu instructs me on the art of bangle buying. We browse through more of the stalls and sure enough we find more of the melange silk shawls in great colors. After some lively negotiations, we walk away with a beautiful assortment of silks at 40% less than the original price quote! We continue to browse, stopping to cool off using some clever handmade fans. As we enter the jewelry section, I notice some beautiful glass bead bracelets.. Unfortunately there’s not enough quantity. As Meenu translates my disappointment, the owner reaches down and pulls out a plastic tub filled with glass beads. We selected the colors we want and he proceeded to make the bracelets as we waited. You’re going to love them ! By then we were all a bit verwhelmed by the heat, so we headed to Khan market, an outdoor strip center of sorts, where we stopped for a bite to eat. Meenu’s daughter selected a restaurant called The Big Chill, it’s a popular spot featuring great pizzas, pastas and sandwiches…if you go, be sure to sure to try and shakes and save room for desert!
Back to the hotel with just enough time to take a quick swim before being whisked off to the Carpet Cellar, where I met with Nishant and Dhruv Chandra, to view their collection of antique and reproduction textiles. Nishant educates me on the various qualities of wool, pashmina and wool/silk blends, introducing me to their proprietary Sahmina fiber which is an environmentally friendly alternative to the Shatoosh, the lightest, warmest fabric, derivded from the Tibetan antelope.
But it’s the silk embroideries that catch my eye. Dhruv explains that the work is so fine, it can take up to 2 years to complete one shawl. And a small section of embroidery can take up to a day to execute. I’m also intrigued by the pashmina/silk blends featuring damask and ombre patterning…”must haves” for the fall assortment.
It’s getting a bit late and I’m growing a bit weary. Time to head back to the hotel and get packed as I’m off to Kasmir tomorrow morning