Wed-Sat, 1pm-8pm; Sun, noon-7pm; Mon-Tue, closed
J, Z at Bowery; F at Second Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Alpana Bawa's native South Asia is everywhere in her striking, vivid clothing. Born in Punjab and raised in Delhi, the designer has made Indian fabrics and embroidery her trademarks, constructing sophisticated, casual clothing for men and women out of intricately detailed madras, cotton, and silk. But don't expect to find a room full of saris and kurtas; there aren’t any. Instead, Bawa applies traditional elements to modern looks, using old-world fabric and fine, dressmaker touches (including precision piecework that evokes 1960s-mod styles) to construct downtown-chic silhouettes. Decorated with floral embroidery, a standard men’s button-down becomes an airy, cabana-worthy top, while bold polka-dot appliqués turn a simple A-line dress into a fun party frock. Despite her early days at Comme des Garcons—a stronghold of severe, dark looks—Bawa’s palette is extensive, and it's not unusual for hot pink, burnt orange, and mossy green to co-exist happily on a single garment; black, however, is verboten. In addition to her playful, sexy clothes, the tiny East Village storefront also stocks a collection of accessories and lively pillows designed more for cozy conversation than nodding off, given their sheer vibrancy and radiant color.