This Caravan has well-travelled wheels and a vision about “evolved Indic crafts.” It began in a mall last year, but soon shut shop to reopen in surroundings more conducive to its design philosophies. It has a network of artisans across India and an aesthetic designed to appeal to Bangalore’s banjara-not-Zara beauties. As a fantasy, this caravan story isn’t Enid Blyton, but Majrooh Sultanpuri -- “Log saath aate gaye, caravan banta gaya,” you know.
In its new mango-toned bungalow in Hatworks Boulevard, Caravan comes with a large garden and a café with a killer mousse. Its racks display clothes, jewellery, and a small range of natural leather products which may owe something to the fact that founder Kunal Sachdev used to be CEO, Hidesign.
Find here mix-and-match summer wear distinguished by crafty thread work; day dresses and sleeveless blouses made in mangalgiri cotton, khadi, muslin and tussar. Some of the styles seen around the store are familiar to the handloom-wearing eye, but others are less common. We’re drawn to “Blushing Pastels,” a collection of mul cotton tops with double-thread stitching, a technique which makes the tops less see-through than usual. On this, crochet appliqué work from Andhra Pradesh is combined with delicate aari thread work from Gujarat -- a distinctive combination that manages not to look overdone, and not even too familiarly arts-and-craftsy.
Find here mix-and-match summer wear distinguished by crafty thread work; day dresses and sleeveless blouses made in mangalgiri cotton, khadi, muslin and tussar.
Shine, Cos, Tan
For the festival-averse, Caravan offers alternatives to FabIndia with their long, flowy khadi silk and tussar outfits, worked over with zardozi that glitters as little as possible. A jewellery display case showcases perhaps our favourite thing in the whole store, a collection of Rajasthani thewa necklaces. Made in a small village where faint impressions of gold are inlaid in glass, the thewa in Caravan’s statement pieces looks sleek, modern and beautifully glowy.
From customer relations manager Sumedha Kandpal, we learn that Caravan stations its reps at locations around the country to work with “clusters” of over 7,000 artisans, enabling them to learn and practise newer design elements they can incorporate into their work for the brand. “Caravan designs around these vintage art forms,” she explains. If you like something, you can even sign up with the store to send financial support to a cluster.
Before leaving, we stop off at the al fresco café run by chocolatiers L'inoui for a silky, mild hazelnut hot chocolate and a mousse cake like a dark, not-too-sweet thundercloud. We leave as we enter, with Majrooh on our minds. Thanks to this dessert, though, it’s “Raat akeli hai.”
Getting there: 431/1, Hatworks Boulevard, Cunningham Road, Vasanth Nagar, call 08032523388, for more details on the collections log on to their site here or check out their Facebook page here. Apparel starts at Rs 2,700. A meal for two at the café costs approximately Rs 650.
Accessibility: Two steps up to the entrance of the store.
Wake up to daily updates on what to eat/shop/do in your city