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Sabyasachi Mukherjee: The Story Of An Indian Design Elite

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Shubham Rajpara
3 Apr 2019
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Shubham Rajpara

I believe the finest art is that which is courageously authentic. May it be any form of art, if the curator has put truth and originality in it, it will speak to me.

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Born on 23rd February 1974, to a middle class Bengali family, Sabyasachi was always fond of arts and crafts since the beginning, owing to his mother and the cultural richness of Kolkata, his mother was a government teacher in an art school teaching handicrafts.

Sabyasachi faced a lot of difficulties as a kid. After his father lost his job, Sabyasachi would be subjected to his frustration. Sabyasachi was also denied to pursue his fashion designing dream. In rebellion he sold off his books, and paid for his education in NIFT after 12th himself.

He won three major awards at this prestigious fashion designing university before graduating in 1999. In 2001 he won the Femina British Council’s most outstanding young Designer of India award, which took him to London for an internship with Georgina Von Etzdorf. He has won numerous accolades, awards and recognition in the world since then.

He has not stopped since and only grown dramatically in aggressive and competitive fashion industry. “Imperfections of the human hand” is the philosophy he embodied in his designs. Inspired by artists like Monet, Bruegel, etc, he strikes the right balance between the culture and experiment, tradition and newness.

From the days he started his workshop of three people to the times to the times the elites of the country wore him his focus had been on floating the rich and eclectic Indian tradition into the raging tides of contemporary fashion. He pioneers the use of Indian textiles, albeit in a modern context, international designs with an Indian soul. His unique contribution has been the use of indigenous methods like bandhani, gota work, block printing, hand dyeing, etc. in construction of modern silhouettes.

His Spring Summer 2005 Collection, ‘The Nair Sisters’ was inspired by traditional hand block printing, embroidery, bagru prints with the extensive use of cotton and other hand woven fabrics. The collection found itself in the racks of Browns & Selfridges in London, and has been featured in the UK Vogue hot list, establishing his presence on the international fashion arena, making India proud. Furthermore, over the past two years he has also been involved in reviving cotton Banarasi Sarees in pure khadi and vegetable hand block prints from Bagru, Rajasthan along with other traditional Indian clothing.

His envisions to start an Indian inspired kidswear brand and to establish a contemporary clothing label for the masses of India that completely thrives on weavers and artisans of India at a grass root level. He also aspires to grow a ‘people tree’ enterprise that inculcates Indian tradition, culture, and history and converts it into an intellectually and aesthetically aspirational international fashion brand.

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