Mumbai’s a terrible shopping destination. Delhi, you win, hands down. In between Fashion Street and Gucci, we run into a wall. Mango’s euro trash, Ensemble’s for aunties, and Bombay Electric’s price tags are a rip-off. Little wonder that most Bombay residents either look like extras in an eighties soap opera—blonde hair, diamonds, Franck Muller, bling, bling bling—or as though you caught them on their way to a Goan shack—flip-flops, leggings, tee-shirts. Occassionally, and it’s extremely rare, you scratch the surface of the city’s shopping map hard enough and find a treat.
Denim Story (DS) is such a hidden treasure. Located in the garage of an old art deco building on Marina Drive, DS is not so much a store as an office. It is, in fact, the office of a company that distributes jeans in India. If ever you crossed paths with J-Brand, Citizens for Humanity, 7 For All Mankind, Rock & Republic, True Religion, or DVB, fell in love, and wondered when you’d meet them again, DS is for you. (One recommendation: J-Brand. J-Brand jeans have more lycra, and so they fit the contours of our pear-shaped bodies better than others.)
DS began as a distributor to boutiques in the city, and then decided to go it alone. They don’t have a retail outlet yet, so right now you simply walk into a congested office space with racks of jeans across the wall, plus a tiny dressing room at the back. But DS has every conceivable size, every conceivable cut of some of the best jeans brands in the world. (Horror of horrors, they even have the latest fashion debacle: jeggings.) And if there’s a particular style or size that you want and they don’t have, then the folks at DS will order it in for you.
The prices are steep, but if you’re in that half of the population that believes a pair of jeans is not worth more than Rs 1,000, then just forget you read this post. DS prices are comparable to New York or London tag rates. But their sales offer 50 per cent price cuts.
Arpita Singh’s work, irrespective of its theme and ambition, is touched by a deeply personal, almost mystical, truth. Broken phrases and stray words are strewn all over her images, to set up the context to which these may be anchored