Chabaa - ladies Bohemian Shop
Chabaa Shop – Bohemian Rhapsody.
Chabaa – the shop situated on 14/32 Nimman Promenade on Nimmanhaemin Road in Chiang Mai is something that you simply can not miss.
It’s Bohemian, eclectic, colourful, almost decadent in its choice of colours. When you open those turquoise doors you feel like you go into the Aladdin’s cave.
But what is The Bohemian fashion? you would ask. Well, ironically it’s being hippy before Flower Children were even invented, way two centuries before.
“Bohemians” was a derogatory term in 18 century for people who chose to live like gypsies. As in those days it was believed that most of the gypsies invaded Europe through the Bohemian Kingdom (part of Czech Republic now), the term stuck. The nomads in those days chose to dress like gypsies in scraps of mishmash colourful clothing, refused to believe in private property, partook liberally in alcohol and hallucinogenic substances to heighten their life experiences and didn’t follow monogamous relationships... Hmm.. Let me think who they remind me of?.. Yep, hippies!
Later, in 19 century the name changed its meaning to free artists who went beyond conventional in their art – painters, musicians, writers, architects, etc.
Nowadays, it’s quite ironic, that the whole Bohemian look turned into just another trend in fashion. It means long necklaces, flowery maxi gypsy dresses, kaftans and tunics, bangles, head scarves, flowing skirts and harem trousers, and even sandals that wrap around your ankles..
But let’s finish our bit of a history lesson and return back to Chabaa shop..
Yui and Chabaa are two sisters who own this shop, and Chabaa is the one who designs and makes all of the clothes. Their eclectic jewellery comes from India.
As a matter of fact their fantastic embroidery, mysterious scarves, kaftans and sarafans (gypsy maxi dresses).. They all have a sort of Indian feeling to them.
By the way, did you know that “sarafan” – is a Russian word for a traditional shapeless pinafore dress that women used to wear?
The shop also has some very nice antique furniture and a lot of vintage dolls (30-40 years old). The story is, as Yui says, is that her family used to collect dolls, now most of them are vintage and some of them turned to be useful in decorating the shop. It looks kind of trippy, but goes well with the Bohemian look..
Chabaa is not only a retail shop, they also supply some of the better Bangkok shops with their products. As Yui proudly said, you can buy a dress for 300-500 baht, which will fall apart or loose its colours after the first washing, or you can purchase their product for 1500 baht and see for yourself the difference in quality.
Chabaa is full of small charming knick-knacks, and you can see that these two sisters are “on the ball” – they have lovely cards and postcards, personalised bags, and generally a happy and attentive attitude towards customers. They also have a small website www.atChabaa.com
I sincerely wish them all the best, and I certainly will be back to buy something.
The address is:
14/32 Nimman Promenade
Nimmanhaemin Road, Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai 50200