Step into hingari
`Shingari', the newly-opened boutique on the Pattom-Kowdiar road, promises to be the haunt of the fashion-conscious youth.
FOR THOSE scouring the city for cool, chic cottons this summer, here is another place to zero in on. `Shingari' offers you a wide range of haute options to beat the sweltering heat.
Each and every piece in the boutique has been handpicked from cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Coimbatore by Susheela Jeyakumar and Sindhu Krishnakumar.
"We would buy saris for our friends wherever we used to go. We had been toying with the idea of opening a shop for quite some time," says Susheela. It was only two months ago that they identified a space at the Indraprastham shopping complex on the Pattom-Kowdiar road. Sindhu's husband had just completed the complex and Susheela's son, an architect, pitched in to design the racks. Soon, `Shingari', with its simple, sleek look, was ready to cater to the demands of folks in the city.
The saris here are exclusive - all are brought in from retail shops or boutiques. "We do not order in bulk, for then, we'll miss out on uniqueness," says Sindhu.
The wondrous Chettinad weaves in vibrant colours beckon from afar. With checks on the body and border with threadwork and traditional rudraksha motif, these saris look elegant; the prices are between Rs. 400 and Rs. 600. Crispy Mangalgiris with gilded borders and pallus come for around Rs. 800.
Pallavi saris, cottons from Madurai and Ahmedabad, Rajasthani block prints, Kotas and Batik saris belong to the Rs. 350-650 range. Dhaka cottons start at Rs. 300 and go up to Rs. 1,200. Kanchi cottons with intricate border and temple design, saris with full chikan work and village cottons cost about Rs. 1,300. There are painted saris too that give a real ethnic touch.
With the wedding season round the corner, `Shingari' has stocked up on silks too. Designer Kancheepurams and pure Gadwal silks are priced around Rs. 5,000. Then there are printed silks, embroidered Tussar silks, crepe silks, Maheswari silks (with zari border and rich pallu) and Gadwal silk-cotton saris, priced between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 3,500. Chiffons with floral designs come quite cheap at Rs. 300. Plain georgette saris can be bought for Rs. 800. "These are also moving quite fast for you can get embroidery work of your choice done on them," says Sindhu.
For those who do not want to be draped in heavy silks, there are the cotton-silk blends, which are 60 per cent cotton and 40 per cent silk; these are quite light and exude a Kancheepuram-look with zari borders and heavy pallus; they are priced between Rs. 1,800 and Rs. 2,800. Gadwal saris with cotton body and silk border, costing the same, can also add sparkle to your evenings.
There is a good collection of fancy saris, embellished with sequins and zardosi work, priced upwards of Rs. 600.
Initially, `Shingari' focussed on saris only, but now they stock on salwar kameez material too. Summer wear includes Chettinad cottons, Mangalgiris, jute cottons, Kota with bandhni patchwork, Jaipuri cottons with chiffon dupattas and those in plain colours with bead and mirror work on the neck. All these fall between Rs. 350 and Rs. 900.
At the higher end, there are Ikat silks with contrast pyjamas and dupattas at around Rs. 3,000. Crepe silks with designer dupattas are available for a little less.
Trendy jute silks cost Rs. 1,300 and embroidered Tussars with flashy tie and dye duppatas and also those with woven designs are priced between Rs. 1,450 and Rs. 1,850. There are also chiffon dress materials, with printed lining, at Rs. 1,250.
You can also shop for cotton and silk dupattas, priced between Rs. 75 and Rs. 350.
The stock at `Shingari' has been diminishing fast and Susheela is all set for another shopping spree. "It has been word-of-mouth publicity for us. And fortunately, we have a steady stream of customers," she says.
The duo of Susheela and Sindhu is planning to expand the store soon by including readymade wear and accessories such as handbags and silver jewellery.
ANITHA K. MOOSATH
Photos: S. Gopakumar
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