Crafts, inks, et al

Mar 20, 2014, 09:08 IST | Soma Das

Banana Crafts Studios in Prabhadevi doubles up as a tattoo studio and a textile/accessories shop that offers the right balance of kitsch and cool

When husband-wife duo, Anirban Dasgupta (33) and Anagha Battin (32), set up their tattoo studio and retail store, they called it Banana Crafts. The source of this emerged from friends who would affectionately club them as Banana (‘ban’: the last three letters in Anirban’s name, and ‘ana’: the first three letters of Anagha).

Apparel and paintings on display

Their labour of love is the studio-cum-shop Banana Crafts in Prabhadevi, which combines their respective interests: tattooing and textiles. Dasgupta pursued a Masters in Painting at Sir JJ School of Arts while Battin did a Bachelor’s in Textile Designing from the institute, and proceeded to study in Milan. The duo graduated in 2002 and while Dasgupta headed to Manali to pursue his passion for tattooing, Battin kept busy in Mumbai designing clothes for retail brands. After getting married last year, they decided to start their own venture in Mumbai; that’s how Banana Crafts was born.
When we caught up with the duo, they were busy hand-painting a section of the wall at the entrance. The ceiling of the tattoo studio, located in the loft, also boasts of a hand-painted acrylic mosaic (for customers to look up and ponder as they get inked).

The jewellery and bag counter. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Speaking about Banana Crafts, Battin says, “This space is a canvas for art, in all forms. There are very few tattoo shops in this part of Mumbai, so we thought it made sense to start one here. I am keen on handlooms, and I realised that few people are aware of the techniques that go into making the fabrics. Each piece is unique and not
produced in bulk.”

Apart from the tattoo studio, the shop at the ground level, includes a selection of kurtas, shirts, flowy pants, skirts, and dresses for women and jackets and kurtas for men. There are select paintings on the walls that Dasgupta sourced from his childhood art teacher in Kolkata. There are fabric swatches for those who wish for a custom-made outfit (which takes 2-8 days).

Anagha Battin and Anirban Dasgupta

It includes Ikat from Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, Bandhani from Gujarat, Batik from West Bengal, block prints from Jaipur and Khadi from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Battin extensively visited rural areas to understand indigenous fabrics and print techniques.

Hemp bags and lampshades, Neil Dantas’ T-shirts and cloth bags, jewellery made from beads and semi-precious stones are also on sale.

For the mystically inclined, there are beaded mandalas on offer. While the apparel is designed by Battin, jewellery is sourced from Russian designer Julia Kazarina and Kolkata’s Risa Jewellers.

At Shop 1, Omkar CHS (Ameya Society), opposite Marathe Udyog Bhavan, Prabhadevi.
Time 12 pm to 10 pm, daily
Call 24373123

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