30, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07 (1st Floor)
Open 10.00AM to 7.00PM Daily (10.00 to 3.00PM on Sundays)
Aashkii at the Arcade is a chic store with a range of Indian and local designer clothing and quality saris.
Aashkii is a high-end store that has a decent range of tops, pants and saris, in unique designs. You'll find your Satya Paul and Ritu Kumar here, and also the Jai Collection by local designer Jaish Jayesingha. This is a review of their outlet at Arcade Independence but they've also got a store in Maitland Crescent.
The store is at the Arcade, so the white and brown theme is pretty beautiful in the day. The shop is scarcely furnished with a high ceiling of wooden rafters so it makes for a quiet, pleasant shopping experience.
The designs on display obviously change according to season, but on our visit the shelves had a lot of happy prints. The materials used are all pure - pure linen, silk, satin, chiffon. So considering this and the fact that the designs are supposed to be one-of-a-kind, it's unsurprising that the prices are on the high end.
The collections we saw included printed pants, chiffon kurta-type tops, a few somber ethnic designs, casual evening dresses, and a small selection of saris. We found tops and pants that went as high as Rs. 15K, among some that were surprisingly in the Rs. 3K range - so there's a wide variety of stuff worth browsing through carefully.
Aashkii gets points for the quality it promises in exchange for the prices, and the fact that it's very unlikely you'll bump into someone at a party with the same top. So if these things are important to you, it's one of the better stores to shop at.
Worth noting are the Satya Paul saris for which there's a solid audience locally, and the saris range from Rs. 20K to Rs. 50K, which is not bad considering it's designer wear. Also there are some interesting lace skirts and tops for vintage lovers, and a few very unique purses for Rs. 10K+.
Aashkii is a good choice if you've got the cash and you want special designs cut from pure, quality cloth.
The Arcade is before you get to BMICH, after the SLBC building, on your left. The entrance fountains opposite the post office are hard to miss. The store is on the 1st floor just above Kaema Sutra.
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