Mumbai: Sabyasachi-Sadhguru set to bring peace to New York Fashion Week with Fashion for Peace
Sabyasachi Mukherjee teams up with spiritual guru to showcase organic line of clothes at Fashion For Peace
Can clothes made with time, love and detail heal the wearer? Sabysachi Mukherjee seems to think so. He wasn't a believer until 2016 when he was invited to spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev's Mahashivratri celebration at the headquarters of his organisation, Isha Foundation, on the outskirts of Coimbatore. He remembers telling Sadhguru that he is a cynic.
"I'm not a follower, but I do relate to his programmes that focus on social upliftment and work in the villages," Mukherjee tells mid-day. The conversation has led to a collaboration that will take stage at New York Fashion Week this Wednesday. It's here that Kolkata-based Mukherjee will join Norma Kamali, Mara Hoffman and Mimi Prober as part of Fashion For Peace, a group presentation of conscious design in association with Isha Foundation.
The organisation, in a bid to turn focus on rare textiles and the now thinning community of craftsmen behind them, has selected over 100 textiles dating back to an age-old tradition of weaving. Fast fashion, urbanisation and a turn to synthetic fabrics mean that the next generation would rather get a desk job than weave. Mukherjee and his colleagues hope to raise awareness about the dying techniques by creating a handful of looks each.
But can fashion make the world peaceful? "The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. Oil is the first. So, it would help to start asking, how are my clothes made? The consumer is already doing that and social media is playing a powerful role in stressing the need for sustainable choices over fast fashion," he explains.
The man, who grabbed eyeballs early on in his career for celebrating the detail of Indian handmade fabrics and embroidery in contemporary fashion, says handmade clothing has the ability to evoke joy. "When you are down and depressed, why does retail therapy, if done right, help? Handmade clothes when created with love have the ability to heal you, emotionally. When you look at Aneeth Arora's clothes, you instantly sense that they are made by people who are happy, and with utmost care. That energy, I think, translates to the wearer."
The Fashion For Peace showcase will mark Mukherjee's return to New York Fashion Week after his debut in 2007, followed by another outing in 2009. A resort wear capsule range of seven garments will explore the delightful warmth of the pashmina, organic cotton and silks from Bengal and Kanchipuram with a touch of block printing. "It is a clean, structured, organic clothing line built around the idea of architecture-meets-textile," he says.
The last year has seen him frantically covered by the press for his delicious bridal wear (Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra would agree), but like they say, ain't no rest for the wicked. Mukherjee is hungry to get back to designing ready-to-wear. "A line of pared down, ready-to-wear garments for Lane Crawford that I did last year, was a tipping point. I make bridal clothes for business, not indulgence. But for the Western market, I want to focus on ready-to-wear." A new chapter for his brand starts this April with a fashion show in Mumbai. And then, there is a plan to return to Paris Fashion Week next year.
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