|Satarupa, Dijana and Sanjukta in Sabyasachi’s spring-summer looks. Picture by Rashbehari Das. Make-up & hair by Abhijit Chanda
Your stall at Lakme Fashion Week saw a business boom though you didnt show on the runway...
I didnt do a show at LFW because I was busy with my show Band Baaja Bride (on NDTV Good Times). I also didnt show because I didnt have anything new to say with consequence. Business was booming at LFW for sure, and it was the best business I have ever done at a fashion week. But this would have happened irrespective of a show. So the orders were not a by-product.
What is on the mood board this summer?
Theres black and white. The clothes are crisp and I am cutting out a lot of fat to make them leaner. But that doesnt mean the volume goes down; its just crisper and more edited.
Does it also mean that the weight will go down?
Yes, 100 per cent. The fabrics are light and easy to breathe in.
Which countries figure this time?
Well, the collection originates from India but travels to Ghana, Mexico, Spain and Argentina....
These are clearly your favourite countries!
Yes, they are! And its important to be inspired. Like, you will never see me doing a collection inspired by the US of A!
What is the spring-summer collection like?
Its an upwardly mobile fashion collection. For a lot of people, Sabyasachi is synonymous with wedding clothes and heavy Indian party wear, but this collection is just not so.
If I may say so myself, its full of surprises. It is younger, hip, trendy but without losing the Sabyasachi ethos. It has many separates that are not easily found in the Sabyasachi stable. It also has sleeveless peplums, 1920s silhouettes, kurtas, Pakistani phirans, sharply constructed body-cons, lehngas... its all there. The collection steers towards cocktails and glamorous parties where you have to make an intellectual presence. This collection also has a focused line called Sabyasachi by Sabyasachi, and of course our line of accessories, including handbags, hairbands, bangles.
Your accessories have reached it status...
Anything that Bollywood picks up becomes it! But the biggest endorsement has come from Oprah Winfrey. Because of her we have no production for the next 10 months!
The Sothebys show in London is also coming up. How does it feel?
(Smiles.) The biggest validation is the fact that they wanted things that are unapologetically me, unapologetically Indian. They didnt want me to temper down the products.
And how was tempering down things for a pregnant woman in Kahaani like?
Its the easiest film I have done — it had five looks. The directors (Sujoy Ghosh) brief was that Vidya (Balan) will be living out of a suitcase. We didnt want one of those blink-and-theres-a-new-garment kind of film. Everything Vidya wore was bought from the streets of Bangkok or London and I just made one or two things to put the looks together. The clothes didnt have to be Sabyasachi, the sensibility had to. My ego does take a back seat during a film!
Kangana Ranaut, Kalki Koechlin, Amy Jackson and theres also a buzz about Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor wearing your clothes…. The new faces of Sabyasachi include some of Bollywoods coolest.
For a very long time, the brand was associated with confident women who are between 30 and 45, but right now our customer base is becoming younger and more hip. These girls now want to wear something that has an Indian point of view. You will be surprised how many 22-year-olds choose substance over candyfloss and they are looking for brands to shop from.
Finally, you are travelling non-stop. Are you consciously avoiding Calcutta?
No, not at all. I might be living more in Delhi and Mumbai but I am not avoiding my city. I am planning to open a new store. I have noticed that Calcutta is steadily changing. It is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. And this spring-summer exhibition is a homage to the new Calcutta, from the new Sabyasachi!
SABYASACHI mukherjees tips
• Jeans: Like wine, they get better with age.
Must not hoard
• A statement sari: It was a statement because you wore it once.
Casual tees: Theres a term called use and throw. If you start hoarding, you will never be able to stop.
Shoes: They come out of designer collections like a vending machine almost every second day. Either you buy an apartment to store or you donate to make way for the new.
Why men dont hoard:
The reason is simple — they dont hoard because they dont buy enough to hoard!
A few things that we, the t2 girls, have been hoarding! Whats your cant-give-up piece of clothing? tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org"
School uniform, including the tie! (Sentimental reasons.)
Dupattas... even after the salwar-kurta are long gone. (Will mix and match someday.)
A slim-fit white shirt that doesnt fit anymore. (Maybe someday I will get back into shape again.)
A 10-year-old frayed tee that says 100% at Work. (Its most comfortable.)
Single earrings. (Might use them as pendants.)
Impulse-bought tops, thinking they were a steal. (Guilt.)
A lucky top thats won me a prize at some contest. (Because its lucky!)
Cartoon-printed ankle socks. (Thats the only old thing that still fits.)
Flared denims. (They are too fancy, but who knows, they might be back!)
Skirts that dont fit anymore. (For those sweet ol memories.)
A seven-year-old black kurta which is dyed black every time the colour fades. (It makes me look skinny.)
Teeny-tiny clothes. (For the beach holiday when I get super skinny.)
A step-by-step t2 guide to detox your wardrobe
1 Dedicate a day to detox. Its not something you can do between lunch with the girls, coffee with the boy and a movie on TV.
2 Slip into something that you can comfortably squat in.
3 Empty out your wardrobe on the floor/bed.
4 Go through each item of clothing and make three piles under never, maybe and definitely. Be honest. Be ruthless.
5 The never clothes are those that you dont feel like looking at, leave alone wearing them even at home. They can be too big or too small (be realistic about your size). Dump them into a large bag, to be distributed among friends, siblings and charity.... You can decide who to give what later.
6 The definitely are the clothes you love. That LBD that always makes you feel sexy. The shirt that you end up wearing to work every third day. The jeans that fit like a dream. Fold neatly and put aside.
7 The maybe lot is the deal maker/breaker. Try on each piece. Not with track pants or stretched-out ganjees, but with the right separates and underwear. Slip on the heels, throw on an accessory. This is not a wasteful exercise. This is how you will wear it and this will decide whether you will keep it or chuck it.
8 Despite the thorough sorting, there will still be a doubt pile. Suitcase it. If you are in doubt even after six months, ditch it.
9 Arrange the clothes as per occasion — work, home, party and miscellaneous. You dont need to have a mad moment rummaging through linen shorts and sequinned vests before going to office. Trousers and formal shirts need not be the first thing you lay your hands on when dressing down for a night out.
10 Done with clothes, follow the same rule for shoes, bags and junk jewellery.