Wednesday, July 1, 2009

High Fashion Therapy in Chennai

Whenever I go to the good old city, a visit to its fashion hub is the most important item on my agenda. The good old city that I mention here is the very traditional, very snobbish, very cultured, very mammi-ish, very dear, very beautiful Chennai. And the fashion hub is none other than the affordable (now that's an oxymoron, affordable high fashion!) line up of vendors at Pondy Bazaar in the center of the city, T Nagar. Especially hub for the latest and greatest in accessories, the kinds that you deck up your plain little (or big) ears with, and decorate your swan-like neck (or double chins) with, and embellish your sleek (or Schwarzenegger-ish) arms with, and for many more such innovative furnishings for your body.

I contracted the love for accessories from my sister, once known as a high fashionista throughout her college. The ailment once it catches you never leaves you, forever spoiling you for other lower afflictions such as the usual ones for gold and real diamonds. After all, how can dull bombs compete with the bright and artificial, not to mention affordable, stones of Pondy Bazaar? So thus began the long courtship, all its keepsakes treasured carefully in velvet boxes, Tupperwares, and laundry bags. Every six months, I take them out, sort them into neat little bundles, tag them appropriately, and put them back in the folders they belong, messed up as they are by busy hands on busier mornings. The process is very therapeutic, giving almost the exact same pleasure one gets while visiting the high street.

On my last visit to this sacred center, I decided to pay a little more attention to details and not just get drunk into a religious stupor of earrings, earrings, and more earrings. I wanted to see if I could use all that I was forced to learn during my MBA. For instance, in this street where every second vendor sells the same stuff, how do they differentiate themselves? Does it matter who you buy from? Is there any difference in quality at all from one seller to another? Do these guys love their job selling earrings, necklaces, bindis, tattoos, and clips? What kind of profits do they take home? Does their girlfriends, wives, and moms buy from them or go to their competitors elsewhere? Do they allow pretty maidens to have their way and shoplift a few items, with a good long view at their bosoms payment enough? I wanted to talk to a few vendors and find these out and more.

But all I managed to do was take some photos. I couldn't overcome my compelling and addictive habits. But it was very therapeutic though. Very.
Here are some of those photos, to give you a sneak view to High Fashion in Chennai.








perplexed said...

I love street shopping!! it is so much more fun to be able to walk through so much color and to bargain even if i pretty much suck at it!!

kp said...

Good stuff VJ .... indian cities have lot of these places where we might not get the brands but we get the good quality stuff for a throw away price......

workhard said...
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