Take the sensible option????? Where's the fun it that!
Posted on March 28 2012
You'd think finding fabric in India would be easy...... it isn't! I've been searching for months for material to make my silky, high-waisted evening trousers; Ashok even went to Mumbai to look, but without any luck. So, after a tip off that Bangalore might have what I was looking for, I swapped my flight back home to London for a ticket to Bangalore and an extra month in India. I could have gone home & left this new design until a later date - which might have been sensible, but I'm so excited about these new trousers & they've already generated lots of interest & I never been one to take the sensible route anyway!
So, yesterday I met up with a friend whom I'd met in Patnem for 1/2 an hour a few weeks ago. He'd stupidly told me that he used to work in the textile industry, lived in Bangalore & would be happy to help me if I ever came to the city. I'm sure he didn't think I'd take him up on his offer, but I did & the next thing you know we're marching down Chickpet Street together. Random stuff like that never happens in England!
Chickpet Street is the main fabric wholesale area of Bangalore & it's great place that's absolutely heaving, with narrow lanes filled with shops selling brightly coloured sari's stacked up to the ceiling, small temples with incense & coconut stalls outside, hundreds of juice stalls, churning & pressing all types of exotic fruit & sugar cane & a lot of silk: Raw silk, brightly dyed & embroidered silk, wholesale silk, rough silk, dress silk, paper thin silky-silk & in every wonderful colour imaginable. I was in 7th heaven !
After trying endless shops without much luck, we stumbled across a small wholesaler at the end of a dark alley. From the outside, it didn't look like much, but once inside it was an Aladin's cave of different colours & fabrics. Meter's of different textiles were laid out in front of me until I found the perfect one. With all the amazing colours available, it's VERY easy to get carried away, but my mother's words were ringing in my head "don't get distracted" & I managed to settle on black, cream, grey & green (plus a few extra samples just in case - after-all, purple, brown & navy blue would look stunning too!)
After a night out on the tiles with Anurag, my personal Bangalore man about town, it's back to the factory for me, so I can start making samples of these silky trousers. Bangalore's a very cosmopolitan city with lots of fun bars & pubs along the MG road. I even got taken for dinner at the very swanky Taj West End hotel, which was smarter than some of the top West End hotels in London. It's going to be a bit of a shock going back to Gadag to my room where's there's just a hole in the floor for a loo, an old bucket for a shower & hard bed with a threadbare mattress........ That's half the charm of India though - you never quite know what you're going to get next!