Do you love Bollywood? Do think Indian pop-art rocks? Just for you, I hunted down a few shopping websites that use kitschy and quirky desi/bollywood artwork in clothing and accessories. Check it out! Not only are these products interestingly fun, they are online so you can order them at your own comfort. And the artists, designers and companies that make them assure their clients 100% satisfaction.
I stumbled upon this website when I was writing a piece on Indian menswear designers. A project started by 4 artists to represent the iconographic art and designs in transitional India, Wetheppl stock some really easy-going, feel-good everyday wear. What makes their products cool apart from the quirks is that they have made utilitarian changes by studying tshirts, hoodies and surfer shorts.
Boys love to take it easy and it shows in the kind of choices they make in their wardrobe. The ‘Kameez’ repackaged by wetheppl is a contemporized or rather a homage to the ever-so comfy item of clothing in good ol’ Bombay. They have marketed it cleverly by naming each design after a working class profession and characters like the doctor, the architect and the dada. Made from “Makhan”-like fabric, as they describe it, I have seen quite a few guys wearing their products and enjoying them. Also they stock some really cool ikat printed shorts.
I didn’t find a lot of options for women apart from a few hippie ponchos and kaftan-like pieces but I did like something unique and cool. The knee length pleated skirt in a water-colour print; just like that Parsi aunty wore. Style is all about taking something mundane and turning it into a look. I think the skirt can look swell with a fitted white tee and super chic sneakers. I absolutely love the fun Zardozi knee detailed tights. Again, all you need is a cool rocker tee, a pair of brogues and you’re en route to being “Miss Thang”!
In the accessories section what caught my eyes was a handpainted duffle bag and a few cool wallets (batvas). Wetheppl are not a fashion label but artists who choose to express in a number of forms including fashion. Take a look at the other projects led by them on their website.
As graphic as the name, their products have twice the spunk and three times the quirk at reasonable rates. I love the fun, very Andy-Warhol-gone-desi vibe of their products. Western imagery with Hindi scripts and translations seem to be their thing. They stock boxers, t-shirts, wallets and cushion covers!
I owned a pair of Cheap Sex boxers. It was yellow with an image of a rooster in front and a donkey at the back, go figure! They also have a host of fun graphics and a few gay-themed ones. My favourites are one that says, “Bum Cheek” in Hindi and a very cheeky “Big Banger” print.
They also stock some fun wallets with kitschy graphics and Indianisms. My favourite graphic is a pop-art image of Paris Hilton and a script in Hindi saying “Dayan Haseena”. They also stock T-shirts and cushion covers with similar graphics. Cheap Sex products are available online and also in boutique stores in Mumbai.
Delhi based Play Clan offers their own take on Indian graphics in a contemporary form. I love their use of common Indianisms in graphic representation through sketches and characters. They stock T-shirts, briefs, boxers, camisoles and bags amongst coasters and other merchandise.
Play Clan have a range of T-shirts for men and women with cartoon graphics of the Bapu, the Swami, The Lama and also the Rajni! I quite like the “chawl” graphic that they use of some of the tees and camisoles. They have this camisole with a “machhiwali” saying “Sab Barobar?” (Is all well?). Overall, the light-hearted prints are the USP of the brand.
Briefs with prints are hard to find here in India, but Play Clan stock fun ones and they are comfy. If you have to know I own two, the Superman one and the other had a cool limited edition “The Dark Knight” Play Clan graphic.
Amongst the above mention products Play Clan also makes iPad covers, sleeping eye-masks, shorts, coasters and cloth bags. You can also drop by their stores in Delhi and Mumbai.
Now this is just a website and I don’t think you can order online, but I had to share the stuff this woman makes. The website states that Diana Linda makes Bombay-Mumbai-Bollywood themed products that range from clutches and papier-mâché jewelry to dresses. Her designs are with the hippie-style influence and use Indian silks and khadi in patchwork, collage and embellishment processes. She also employs women from slums, encouraging them to stitch and spray paint, thus offering them a sense of empowerment.
The best selling item by Diana has been her footwear. I have seen them all over the city and they really look awesome. They are perfect for gifting as each piece has a sense of novelty and kitschy quirk. She has boots that are available in two lengths. And her hippie boot-chaps are super cool to walk around the city in.
Diana Linda stocks in stores in Mumbai and Delhi. A warm and friendly person to approach, her contact details are on her website. Also it will tell you more about her work and where you can get your hands on one of her pieces.
I’m sure there are tons of other online stores that stock similar products, but the reason why I chose these is because I have either own some of their products, gifted them to close friends or known people who have shopped and are pleased with their purchases. I know for a fact they offer value for money and above all, the artistic pieces satisfy the need for something different. Enjoy!