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'Indian designers aren't exotic anymore'

The regal decor and chandeliers add a touch of grandeur to Sabyasachi’s new flagship store at Kala Ghoda. The designer talks about his latest venture, bridal wear and Indian fashion abroad

Q. How is this new store Sabyasachi different from the earlier one?
A. This is much more opulent and grand than the previous one. When you come here, you feel as if you are transported to another era. I want my patrons to enjoy the luxurious space and live the whole experience.

Sabyasachi at his new store
Sabyasachi at his new store

Q. You are known for your exquisite bridal wear collections. What attracts you towards them?
A. Bridal wear represents an entity that is larger than life. As weddings are an important occasion for everyone, the budgets are flexible. Therefore, while designing for brides, I experiment with heavy embroidery and colours to give the outfits a luxurious and a classy feel at the same time.

One of his designs
One of his designs

Q. What elements do you keep in mind to ensure that each of your collections looks different from the other?
A. We have a ready-to-wear western wear that keeps changing according to trends. As far as bridal wear is concerned, my clients come to me wanting to be Sabyasachi brides, which means that they want our signature zardosi, gota and embroidery work and the bright colours that we use. Therefore, the dogma of following the forecast doesn’t pressurise me. Bridal wear does not fall in the category of fashion, it’s classic clothing. The less you tamper with it, the more successful you are.

Q. What is the inspiration behind your collection?
A. My biggest inspiration is craftsmanship. I like to experiment with colours, layers and textiles.

Q. Indian designers are gradually making inroads into the international fashion scene. But do you feel we still have a long way to go before we are taken seriously?
A. We are doing very well and getting recognised mainstream. We aren’t labelled as ‘exotic’ anymore. But we still have a long way to go. But that’s natural. It’s like showing light to the sun. The designers in Hollywood will have a far better understanding of western wear than us Indians and vice versa. Also, I feel that Indian designers should design western wear with an Indian soul as otherwise they will be ‘me too’ designers instead of original ones.

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