Our designers won’t have global identity without Indian textiles: Sabyasachi (IANS Interview)

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The best names from the Indian fashion industry are increasingly promoting local textiles and handicrafts in innovative ways. Sabyasachi Mukherjee, a celebrated name in the field, feels the only way Indian designers can carve a global identity is by using Indian textiles.

“I think Indian designers will have no identity globally if they don’t work with Indian textiles and handicrafts because globalisation also brings with it homogeneity and boredom, and people are going to look at new places to fill up their shopping bags,” Sabyasachi told IANS in an interview here.

Mukherjee, who started his Sabyasachi label in 1999, earned the distinction of being one of the few names in the history of Indian fashion to participate at fashion weeks in Milan, New York and London. And he always makes an effort to use desi textiles and crafts in his works.

His forthcoming showcase will be at the grand finale of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2016 edition, which begins on August 24 at St. Regis in Mumbai.

Asked how far he feels he has succeeded in bringing Indian designs to the fashion forefront, Mukherjee said: “I am an Indian designer and always speak the Indian language because, without that, there is no identity.

“I am happy if I have been able to inspire a young generation of Indian designers to think of Indian design from a mainstream Indian point of view.”

Mukherjee’s creations have been flaunted by the likes of actresses Shabana Azmi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tabu, Sushmita Sen and Kareena Kapoor Khan. Among the current crop of Bollywood’s leading ladies, he has got patrons in Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut, and there are also some international names like Renee Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon who have sported his label.

He believes it’s essential for designers to create their own identity, and that competition helps many get better in the business.

“If you are compromising on style and craft, you can never be on top,” he said in a reference to aspiring designers.

“I think competition is only better because it’s going to make people adopt better style and craft. Just depending on PR will ultimately not help you sustain your brand because eventually the customer will be able to tell and will choose to opt out and buy from designers who make better products at better price points,” added Mukherjee.

He also emphasised on how “whimsy and romance” are missing from fashion nowadays because he feels “those cannot germinate if the pace of fashion is too fast”.

His fashion shows always create an impact among fashionistas because of his unique ramp presentations, and the attendees who mostly compromise Bollywood celebrities.

Hinting that his LFW finale show will be no different, he said: “All I can say is that it’s going to be extremely grand but yet very simple.”

Mukherjee’s show will be inspired by Lakm√©’s beauty statement for the season — ‘Illuminate’ — and he will showcase three different stories through his line with some garments taking inspiration from places like Persia, Afghanistan, Iran and Kashmir.

(Nivedita can be contacted at Nivedita.s@ians.in)



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