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Stylish Secrets

Friday, April 26, 2013


Newly opened Shwa in Bandra manages to set itself apart from other bag stores in the city. Rhea Dhanbhoora tells you more and comes out with a purchase herself

Since I’ve never been a Grey’s Anatomy fan, when I first heard about Shwa’s TV series themed handbag collection, I wasn’t kicked. Sure, the bags I saw online were nice, but did they really need names like McSteamy and McDreamy? After some browsing, I realised perhaps I was being a little judgmental. After all, bags do need character and these have plenty.

Shwa has evolved from a quirky website to a little store that’s almost as much of a secret, tucked away in an alcove in Bandra. Some would say the best thing about Shwa is their bags, because they do have a good range, but have you heard about the secrets inside? From pepper spray, key finders and bag lights to secret pouches, lip glosses and hand sanitisers, you’ll get something with each bag.

What I loved was that all the bags were functional. Chandni and Ira, the sweet-as-pie owners, explained that since women carry their entire world in their handbags, making them functional and convenient was an obvious step.

The work collection is a little run-off-the-mill but a few pieces did stand out. You’ll see that most of the bags match the characters of their TV show namesakes. Meredith (Rs 3,390) has a zip-off clutch that doubles as an iPad pouch but looks like it’s part of the bag otherwise. It’s a great option for workaholic women with no time to change for an after-work drink. Lexie (Rs 3,090) is a boring black that I never would have looked at if it hadn’t had a blue pouch playing peek-a-boo in its front pocket. George (Rs 3,190) is a simple, dependable bag.

The casual collection includes Addison (Rs 2,790), a pretty beige satchel and the off-white McSteamy (Rs 2,490), a piece I couldn’t tear my eyes away from.
From the party collection, Sophia (Rs 2,090) seemed like a simple electric blue party sling. But, the space inside is extremely appealing. There are enough secret compartments to make this your go-to party purse. I didn’t like Miranda (Rs 2,790) too much on the site but when you’re looking at and holding the blue and white party sling, you will fall in love. I couldn’t stop staring at an orange bag on the shelf the entire time — it was McDreamy (Rs 2,490), the star of their collection. The picture-in-a-bag Jo is interesting (Rs 2,090) and glitter lovers should pick up Zola (Rs 1,990), but be warned as it’s a seriously shiny sling.

They also sell bag holders (Rs 350) in bejewelled colours and sanitisers in colourful jelly cases (Rs 250), both of which I couldn’t help but buy.

Does Shwa need a TV show angle? Not really and it doesn’t add anything special to the store. But, the gimmick does make picking bags interesting. They’re working on Season 2 and are looking for a show with lots of characters. We think Gossip Girl would give them a little fashion inspiration; but we’ll have to wait and see what’s in store.

Where Shwa, 36 Chandni Apartments, Ground Floor, Pali Road, Bandra (W)

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