“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Coco Chanel
In the City of Nawabs and nazakat, happiness fits everyone’s pockets, thanks to a range of shops that sell chikankari – the hand embroidery that Lucknow is best known for. But trying to sift through shop after shop for good chicken clothes can be quite a daunting task. We’ve made that easy for you by listing our favourite designer stores and retail outlets that deal in chikan clothes.
Vani Anand has a refreshing take on the art of chikankari, while keeping the authenticity of the art alive. Her contemporary designing, subtle colour combinations, combined with exquisite workmanship will leave you asking for more. And that’s what we love about her clothes – there’s no compromising on detailing. Not surprisingly, this is one of the high-end stores for chikan clothes in Lucknow. But if a Vani Anand piece costs more than others, we guarantee it will also draw more attention than others. Her collection comprises chikan suits, anarkalis and saris along with ensembles with more western silhouettes.
If you are looking for chikankari in cool and soothing fabrics and have an eye for detail, this little shop on the periphery of the busy streets of Chowk is for you. It has chicken embroidery on a variety of summer-friendly fabrics ranging from kotas, Maheshwaris, chanderi to mulmul and linen. The embroidery is so impressive in its perfection, it speaks to you. Her collection of suits and saris for women and kurtas for men may be more expensive than your run-of-the-mill chikan shop, but don’t go there looking for run-of-the-mill stuff.
If you want to own a chikankari piece to pass down generations, go to Sahar Hasan. Her collection is classic, has vintage charm and clean lines. She paints her fabrics with the 32 stitches of chikankari, she is more an artist and as art can’t be manufactured and hence difficult to get your hands on, so is her collection. She does very few pieces a year, exhibits occasionally in Delhi and Mumbai and mostly customises exquisite pieces for designers. If you have the patience to wait, you can get an exclusive chikan garment customised for yourself.
If you are a casual shopper who wants to own a chikankari dress without breaking the bank, Janpath Market is the most easily accessible hub of chikan shops. Ranging from short kurtis, long kurtas, stitched and unstitched chikan suit materials, saris and lehengas for women, to chikan kurtas for men and even clothing for kids – you will find everything here.
It’s amazing how each one of these small shops can house a variety of clothing for the entire family. (P.S.: Bargaining is must/acceptable in this market.) While it’s too tempting to visit all of them, if you are on a short visit to the city, we recommend the following stores:
Shop for chikan clothes amidst the old world charm in the old city area of Chowk. As you pass through the Gol Darwaza into the busy streets of Chowk, which is the wholesale market for Chikankari, you will find yourself in the Lucknow of legends. Be prepared to board a cycle rickshaw or walk if you intend to venture into Chowk. While every almost chikankari shop found in the city sources its stock from Chowk, or has a manufacturing centre here, retail outlets in Chowk are known for good bargains more than exclusive pieces. We recommend shopping in Chowk at:
- Shri Ram Radhey Shyam
- PV Chikan
Recommended by Kashvvi Jashnani
Kashvi is an Interior Stylist by profession. She has an eye for detail and curates stylish, contemporary and chic furniture and decor items for home and office, her store Flamiingo. For her friends, she’s the hostess with the mostest, and can take her guests to gastronomic paradise!