Alteration atelier: Mumbai’s cutest tailors

Alteration atelier: Mumbai’s cutest tailors

From sprucing up old saris, to "upcycling" new into newer and delivering bespoke services with a smile, Mumbai’s cutest tailors are master(jis) of invention
Mumbai tailors
Bollywood stylist Dolly and her small army of tailors at Mannequins in Khar.

Mannequins: Figuratively speaking

This brand new fashion store with designer dresses from China on the racks has six tailors out back who’ll make them to size. While Dolly, owner and Bollywood stylist prefers to focus on bespoke Indian wear and traditional embroidery, her motley crew of masterjis can just as easily copy that runway inspired LBD, sometimes for under Rs 1,000. Ask nicely, and Dolly will even go fabric shopping with you. Mannequins, flat no 3, ground floor, Kajaria Kunj, 19th Road, Khar (W); tel. +91 (0) 22 2648 7003


Parmar Tailors.

Parmar Tailors: Cheap and cheery

From fixing the neighbourhood’s hemlines to Bollywood’s shiny buttons, this hole-in-the-wall tailor's repertoire of needlework is astonishing. If you live around this family-run business, you’ll know that this army of super daughters are very neat with alterations starting with a Rs 50 hemline alteration, and patriarchs Hemant and Kishore are better starting from scratch. Frequenting stylists advise you to take a sample design along and be prepared to argue over deadlines. Lean too close and you’ll feel the heat from the heavy duty antique iron that’s probably as old as their 60 year-old establishment. 67/A, Dr Ambedkar Road, Khar (W); tel. +91 99698 43960

Kishmish: Clean cuts

Few people know that the crafty seamstresses behind Kishmish, who retail at upscale Mumbai stores like Melange and Bombay Electric, also do bespoke linen clothing for men and women. From clean cut dresses to airy linen shirts and kurtas, we love their collection of deceptively simple designs that can be customized to your size, style and color preferences at their Colaba studio starting at Rs 2,000 for a basic shirt. Call + 91 98200 31361 to make an appointment

Nitya Amarnath.

Upsykle Cotier: Ring out the old

When National Institute of Design (NID) graduates Nitya Amarnath and Juhi Pandey turn old saris into 2,000 rupee totes, they call it upcycling. "Recycling is associated with inferior quality. We take old swatches and turn it into superior satchels," explains Nitya. The design duo will also buy old fabrics and antique tapestries you don’t need. Look out for their Upsykle Cotier label, launching soon at some of the city’s swishest fashion stores. Call Nitya or Juhi on +91 98192 12065 or +91 98200 39110

Ashmina: Blouse Express

You no longer have to pull a Liz Hurley at a last-minute sari event. Drop into Ashmina at Atria mall instead, where they’ll whip up a stylish sari blouse for Rs 600 and in under three days. You can also pick from their existing stock -- the lycra blouses come in different colours and match with pretty much anything on which they offer same-day alterations. 119/120/123, Atria The Millenium Mall, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli; tel. +91 (0) 22 2481 3533


Swarna Gupta.

Oleander: Better than bespoke

After designing clothes at Top Shop, Sauce in Dubai and Mumbai boutique Chamomile, Swarna Gupta at Oleander now wants to take over your wardrobe. Armed with a contemporary sense of style and a pair of magic scissors, she can make you some seriously fashionable outfits, from satin jumpsuits to raw silk sheaths and jewel-toned cocktail dresses for Rs 4,000 each. You can also stop by her apartment for samples and off-the-rack pieces. You'd wish she was your best friend forever. 41, Chez Nous, St Cyril’s Road, Bandra (W); tel. +91 (0) 98 7022 0035

Kanika and Mansi are the co-founders of Brown Paper Bag, a Mumbai lifestyle website.

Read more about Kanika Parab and Mansi Poddar