There is a piano abandoned on the corner of Waroda Road, Bandra, in desperate need of tuning. Across the street, old books at a print stand are yellowing, and a doe-eyed stray dog is dividing its affection between the two.
We imagine these to be remnants of a break-up, one that Lila recently initiated. Newly single, she decided to up and leave her home in Delhi for Bandra, where she set up shop at 42 Waroda Road, selling women’s clothing and discarding effects from her last relationship along the way.
Look past our fiction (the piano and books and dog really do live on this street), to a cake-box of a fashion store where dresses hang on neat racks and folded tops sit obediently. The aesthetic of these cotton/khadi/linen pieces, A-line, billowy and almost sack-like, you’ll recognise from what many other clothing brands push via daily Instagram posts. Think modern-day O.M.O but with more thought and theatre.
A mustard yellow dress hides sky-coloured lining and white dresses drip with sorbet stripes.
At Lila, the Delhi outpost of which we have shopped for years, a mustard yellow dress hides sky-coloured lining and white dresses drip with sorbet stripes. Soothing grey jumpsuits are just what October ordered; and calf length dresses with puffed sleeves could look so glamorous with Saint Laurent gloves.
Tops are mostly ho-hum, except a blue and white floral smock-shirt that was born to hook up with a sari; and jarring beaded jewelry really belongs with the piano outside. Stop by the pants rack on your way to the dressing room, where cool high-waisted trousers – including a yellow checkered version – invoke the 60s and 70s. Bring out your best platform shoes to go with.
Before you leave Lila, remember the piano and the imaginary break-up. Right then you’ll spot the cheeky, checkered dress which looks like it’s fashioned out of an old boyfriend’s shirt. There it is, waiting like a wink, a you-had-to-be-there joke that you and us can share. Because we both know what happened before Lila came to Bandra.
Some things just can’t be left out in the rain.
Getting there: 42, Waroda Road, opposite Birdsong Organic Café, Bandra (W). Dresses cost approximately Rs 3,500.
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