What you see – A very stylish frosted glass door sets the tone for what’s inside as you enter Bandhej, a store that stocks clothes for men and women. Located on Indiranagar’s 100 Feet Road, it’s easily approachable and worth a visit if you love interesting colors and textures. Started in Ahmedabad by National Institute of Design graduate Archana Shah in 1980, Bandhej today also incorporates western styles in its range of designs, making the collection a trendy urban wear one with a very Indian essence. Their Bangalore store is neatly divided by frosted glass into different sections, making shopping here an easy job!
What you get – The first thing we spot on entering the store are a range of stunning jackets, short kurtas and shirts for women in silk, in a range of Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000 plus. Some are delicately embroidered, some have tie and dye work, some have a generous splash of mukaish (embellishment with fine, flattened metal wire) work on the bodice and some are embellished with pin-tucks. This is the western wear section for women and also has short tops in cotton (Rs. 800 and above), gorgeous A-line skirts (We loved the ones with floral appliqué all over), comfortable drawstring pants and capris and very trendy silk pants. You will also get sequined knitted tops in different styles here, starting from Rs. 800 onwards.
The men wear mainly comprises kurtas and shirts. The kurtas are available in different styles, in cotton and silk. While the cotton kurtas for men are around Rs. 800 and above, the silk ones start around Rs. 1,900 and are ideal wear for festive occasions or family events. Coming back to the more varied women’s wear, the next section is dedicated to Indian clothes, ie, salwar kameez and sarees.
There’s a whiff of Gujarat in Bandhej’s trademark embroidery on the kurtas, available in colors like lemon yellow, light green, all time favorite white and black and in bright jewel tones like red, green, yellow etc. If you like tie and dye work, then there are salwar kameez sets in beautiful contrasts with plain kurtas and tie and dye salwars and dupattas. We also loved the collection of whites and blacks here with appliqué work, self prints and varied textures. These are paired with salwars, churidars or straight pants and priced around Rs. 2,000 and above. You can also pick up intricately embroidered stoles apart from block printed or woven dupattas to complement your look.
Bandhej also stocks beautiful sarees, from patolas to benarasis. We saw some absolutely gorgeous silk bandhini sarees with zari borders priced around Rs. 11,000. They also have a limited collection of stylish cholis in brocade, lycra mesh and other fabrics that can be altered to your measurement. The store also stocks woven mojris (traditional flat shoes) and silk bags. Bandhej has worked with weavers and rural craftspeople for decades and the difference shows in the designs.
Our verdict – Stores like Bandhej usually have their own fan following. If you love traditional Indian designs like block prints, tie and dye, appliqué work and gorgeous colors like russets, reds, royal blues, deep greens and summery lilacs and whites, visit Bandhej. The prices may be on the higher side but with their well cut outfits and detailed craftwork, you will buy something that will last quite a while. Parking space is available in the nearby lanes.