Sabyasachi Mukherjee| Express Photo by Albin Mathew.
Ace designer Sabyasachi’s summer collection must have come as a fashion shock to the city’s women. The colour palette largely being black and white, with very few other colours thrown in, it surely must have sent the fashionistas in a momentary tizzy.
“Black is the colour of my brand,” he admits. “Black and white have always been the classic colours. But somehow, in our country, there is a myth that black is an inauspicious colour and also cannot be worn for summer. If you see women from the Middle-Eastern countries, they wear a lot of black despite the soaring mercury. Experimentation has to happen with the fabrics – which should be light-weight and self-embroidered,” he suggested.
The designer, who has taken Indian textiles to a whole new level, was in Chennai on Friday to inaugurate his Summer/ Spring 2012 Collection at Evoluzione. Welcome back Sabya, the ladies at the event said, as the designer, dressed in his trademark crisp white shirt and black jacket, took them all through his collection.
His composure and demeanor, that reflected what a pro he was in what he did, endeared all.
Refreshing himself from the heavy colour block designs of his previous Summer/ Spring collection, Sabya presents his black and white clothes with only a hint of colour. He calls it Krithi accent. “Here, colours are used only to prop up the garment. We also jazz up the dress only a little, in the blouse, the border of the suit or in the pallus of a sari.”
This season, Sabya tells us the tale of ancient techniques and forgotten embroidery like the Aaritaari, bullion embroidery and old Kashmiri zardosi.”My techniques have remained the same and variation is completely on traditional fabrics and surface orientation. This season, I have used a lot of mul mul, chiffon, Khadi, organza and handwoven light weight cotton,” he explains.
From bridal lehengas to anarkali suits, there is a wee bit of everything for Chennai women from the Kolkata-based designer. Even while he flaunts the Mangalagiris, Ikats, cottons, khadis and silks, he doesn’t completely avoid using net fabric. With Russian quilts fused with printed chiffon, Sabya cleverly in- corporates ‘net fabrics’ that they transform the heavy designs to breezy summer wears.
It’s definite that Sabya loves travelling, as his Spring/Summer collection is an inspiration of not just from one country – but many. A touch of Morocco in the colours, prints inspired from Spain and France and silhouettes kept strongly Indian. There is so much to see and buy from his collection. Moving from the blacks and whites to sequined, bright hued Anarkali suits, Sabya also presents his multicultural sari - inspired from the soft floral prints of the coffee cups in France. With that, Sabya introduces the quilted blouse, inspired from the 1940s European lingerie.”
I’m basically not a modernist. So, I love to have my collection in this city. Chennai being a traditional city, there has been a lot of appreciation for textiles and traditional techniques. I have been loyal to Kanjeevarams ever since I started off. It has been my biggest inspiration and in fact, I’ve incorporated Kanjeevaram in one of the Spring/Summer collection to give an authentic touch to the collection.
In his new line Sabyasachi by Sabyasachi (the store inaugurated by Oprah Winfrey), the designer presents a new range of accessories - hair bands and bangles from the Bengal. This is a modern approach – because, the designs and materials are inspired from European countries, however the technique is definitely Indian.
Priced at 14,000 and above, the hair bands are designed with Russian embroidery and Kauri shells (which are made to look aged with acid). Not only this, under his brand, Sabya presents bangles with semi-precious stones designed by women from his School of Handicrafts, an initiative taken by Sabya to make this as lucrative job for the second generation women.