“What are you wearing right now?” we ask into the phone.
“A camouflage tee.”
“And nothing else?”
The conversation might be inappropriate, but it’s difficult not to ask the question when we’re talking to Dior India’s marketing head and a regular fixture on best-dressed lists.
Kalyani Chawla is on the phone with us from Goa where she’s attending a wedding, talking about her new fashion venture, Lulu & Sky. “Flared Jeans,” is her unruffled reply to our last question. Let’s racy ahead to the good part then.
Kalyani’s military print T-shirt and jeans you can buy on Lulu & Sky, her new e-store for women and kids, the shopping equivalent of a multi-cuisine restaurant with a tome for a menu. The inventory is as diverse as naan and noodles: a cherry shaped brooch gleams like delicate amuse bouche; satin somethings are as silken as tofu; body-con dresses cling to taste buds; and for dessert, there’s Sunday dresses.
Sifting through the site, we find that Lulu & Sky could be just the friends we’re looking for this party season. They wear sequins in daytime; pack a stack of December dresses that won’t break the bank (starting at Rs 1,500); and if you’re really feeling broke, will score Dries Van Noten and Stella McCartney knock-offs for less. In fact, there are few international brands that haven’t been used as “inspiration” here: we spotted audacious replicas of everything from Celine to Chloe, Fendi to Prada.
The inventory is as diverse as naan and noodles: a cherry shaped brooch gleams like delicate amuse bouche; neck scarves are as silken as tofu; body-con dresses cling to taste buds; and for dessert, there’s Sunday dresses.
Kalyani points out that every high street brand eventually shows signs of trends set by big designers – “a trickle down effect…The clothes and accessories for women are sourced from New York, LA, London and Milan, and I’ve also styled every photograph myself so you can shop the entire look.”
We suggest you skip too-obvious body-con dresses and gowns to browse the denim section – also Kalyani’s favourite – for a frill wrap skirt. Also check out sequined backpacks; patchwork jackets (a vigorous nod to Valentino); a gold metallic pleated skirt a la Gucci; and a grey sweatshirt with a shiny peacock puffing its feathers. It might be a good idea to exercise their 7-day return policy when purchasing a bag (for women and men - see Heath Leather Messenger) so you can do a quality check on the leather and detailing. Oh and there’s a separate section for curvy Lulus too.
Our least favourite bit about Lulu is her taste in resort clothes - tacky kaftans and cover-ups. But Kalyani is currently in Goa, so perhaps Lulu will get a Mapusa makeover? Either way, break a coconut at this new store front.
Getting there: Visit www.luluandsky.com, clothes start at Rs 1,500.
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