Take a stroll with me down to the far end of a one way clothing market lane to visit Sarina’s designer clothing shop. I was introduced to Sarina by my friend, Helen: others learn about Sarina in the same way. Most of her customers come by word of mouth or introduction. Unlike the other persistent but friendly women along this lane, Sarina has no need to beckon travellers to her store- they flock here annually to stock up on well made, good quality fashion basics more suited to Melbourne and Sydney’s mid seasons and winter layering. Most customers are Australian women over 40. Sarina keeps a few stools outside for bored husbands who have tagged along. A dress and shirt maker by trade, this is evidenced by the cut of her garments. She often refers to other stock (not her own ) as ‘Bali Shit’.
The first thing you notice about her store is the absence of display. In fact, a kind of ordered chaos rules. The floor is covered in black plastic bags full of garments, hidden treasure, only to be revealed by Madame Sarina herself, once she assesses your size, style and taste. The experience might be compared to having a personal shopper and dresser all rolled in one, not that I have had the luxury of this back home. Try things on, have fun and let Sarina dress you.
She will know your size instantly. Forget about changing rooms and false modesty: off comes your top and on go her well cut basics, accompanied by cheerful and amusing banter. She will adjust the sleeves, pull back the shoulders and make the garment look like it was tailored just for you. Women leave Sarina’s feeling good about themselves – and they spend far more money than they intended.
PS. She also copies anything so if you have some favourite pieces, take them along and have new ones made to order.
- Sarina’s shop, No 19, Sindu Beach Market, Sanur.
- Prices are fixed and very reasonable- ranging from 90,000 IDR ( $9.00 AU) to 150,000 IDR ( $15.00).
- Don’t go too early: 11 AM or later.