The past couple of weeks myself and the Leave UR Mark interns have attempted to seek out a bit more of the Bangalorenight life and shopping. We’ve been invited to various parties and have visited a fair few bars, restaurants, and shopping districts. One of the biggest sighs of disappointments you’ll get from people when you talk about Bangalore is when you tell them that the bars and restaurants close at 11:30pm. For most of us at the apartment this has required adjusting our normal going out routines, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be depraved of going out and having fun in Bangalore. You just adjust.
We often find ourselves analyzing India’s new generation when we’re out. Like any other big city in the world you walk into any bar or restaurant and your likely to find the worlds fashion played out with the local twists and quirks. Generally we see a lot of the same trends I recognize from home. Yes many of the women are largely covered but they’re wearing skin tight jeans or jeggings and t-shirts. The guys similarly could have been dropped there from any bar I frequent at home, jeans and t-shirts, the laid back checked shirt trend has also similarly found this part of the globe. We see girls in short dresses and wonder what reaction they get from not just their parents, but their peers too. No one in the bar seems concerned that there is so much flesh on show. But we imagine that these girls wouldn’t wander down to the nearest bus stand in such attire.
This is the reach of global commercialism. Much of young India look to the west for style inspiration and the big name brands here boom. There’s plenty of big American brand names and possibly even more British ones. On my first trip to the mall I was shocked to see a Marks and Spencer’s to my left and a big red Spar sign glaring straight in front of me. Take what you want from this. There’s still more girls dressed in the traditional way and you can find a range of prices depending on where you choose to go if you want to try the traditional wear. Two of the Leave UR Mark interns recently picked up some beautiful sari’s with the help of the women at their work. The best place to pick up a salwar kameez (salwar being loose trousers which become narrow at the ankles, and a kameez being a long tunic top) would be the street shops. There’s a never-ending offering in Malleswarem if you choose to go left out of the apartment instead of right towards the mall. The malls tend to be slightly more pricey. Bangalore is a vibrant collaboration of old and new. I myself took the opportunity recently to purchase some bejewelled blue fabric and have it turned into a dress. The fabric is traditional (and gorgeous!) but the cut of the dress is western, and for a bargain price of what is the equivalent of around £20 (sterling). I’m taking a lesson from the city and finding my own blend.
And just to add to our intrigue we were also lucky enough to find ourselves at a fashion show last week. Arriving at a 5 star hotel, the (free!) wine and canapés circulated and we tried to blend into the friendly yet elegant crowd. As we were ushered to our seat the show began and did not disappoint! The first half consisted of more traditional men’s wear with some very impressive looking sherwani’s (kind of like long high neck dinner jackets). The second half had a more western feel, with smart and casual suit jackets, which, on occasion, were worn with no shirt underneath, adding to the flurry of debates afterwards as to who everyone thought was the hottest model! And the only thing distracting us from the model watch after the show was the food. After spotting a spectacular display of puddings we really couldn’t limit ourselves to just one. Thankfully they were all miniature size, which we felt validated taking one of each.
The city is cosmopolitan. It’s not exactly a Sex and the City New York, I mean you have to remember this is India. But I would argue that this (yes overpopulated,) hub is even more of a feast for the eyes than many of the world’s big cities! There’s more color and more detail. Ever sari, every sherwani is different, unique and fantastically beautiful.
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