Sabyasachi Mukherjee teaches Fashion Designing via Xpert

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About Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Highly celebrated fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is a pioneer in giving Indian textiles a fresh and modern look. He has brought Khadi into the global fashion scene. He describes his style as ‘personalised imperfection of the human hand’. Sabyasachi is a National Film Award winner for the best costume design.

Connect with Sabyasachi Mukherjee's life

  • How did your story begin? We’re more interested in Sabyasachi the person rather than Sabyasachi the label.
  • Speaking of how national clothes can actually foster nationalism, you once said that if you want to build something global, you have to build something indigenous in context. So, how does your label support Indian textiles and handlooms in that context?
  • Beauty has always been a very important part of every Sabyasachi campaign, but this is your first beauty collaboration with L’oreal. How did it come about?
  • How did you go about curating the collection for L’oreal?
  • When designing the looks for L’oreal campaign, did you have any particular face in mind?
  • Does the L’oreal campaign look have reflections of any of the past Sabyasachi campaign looks?
  • Has the hustle of today’s business taken the fun away from fashion? How do you strike a balance between creative expression and commercial viability?
  • Fashion has evolved into a glamorous industry, and today, many youngsters want to be part of it. But most of what we see on the ramp and in the retail space are risk-free repetitions. Your views on this?
  • Can you update us on your forays into jewellery design and interiors?
  • What are your suggestions to keep traditions going ?
  • What is it about LFW that made you return?
  • Finales are a challenge in LMF– given the expectations of people in the fraternity, profiles of attendees and the intangible themes created by Lakme for interpretation into garments. What do you think?
  • Will your line at the Lakme Fashion Week be about Indian-ness like your other collections?
  • Considering our diverse range of homespun textiles, do you think everyday must be celebrated as handloom day in India?
  • Social media plays a significant role in promoting tradition. Smriti Irani’s ‘I wear handloom’ campaign on Twitter and the 100 Saree Pact are recent examples. Isn’t it time designers too found new ways to promote heritage?
  • If you were to spell out two major problems faced by the fashion world, what would they be?
  • Very few Indian designers have taken the effort to document fashion. What about you?
  • Many corporate players are keen on collaborating with designers.Are you working with any one of them?
  • Do seasons really matter any more in the world of fashion?
  • What about your mother, a professor in the Government Arts College, who practices a lot of handicrafts? We’ve heard you designed your first saree for her, how has she been an inspiration in your life?
  • How does the bridal collection reflect the concept of Sabyasachi?
  • Earlier in the evening, when you were faced with so many negative comments, you obviously being you pulled off a very suave and comprehensive response, which is also mature, where you don’t give two ‘whatevers’ about what people have to say because you just don’t. But when you are collaborating with artists like this, at the end, you also see an artwork by Sabyasachi, so how do you defend your artwork in such collaborations? Because you have to restrain yourself in the public domain, how does that go for you?
  • Are your designs born out of narratives or with narratives?
  • So you spoke of a ‘Golconda Princess’ once, is it a repetitive reference that you go back to in your mind, once in a while, or was it a onetime thing?
  • Speaking of profiles, you’ve said the most aspirational look in India is the royalty. And you’ve specifically demanded for culturally evolved royalty over stereotypical royalty. What is added by the cultural revolution to the personality of royalty that your couture represents?
  • The show Band Baajaa Bride has become intensely popular with the Indian audience. So did you predict that popularity because of your label, or what Sabyasachi stands for? Or was it an intentional conscious effort to be a household name?
  • You said that you were inspired by food, and that we can expect a food show from you soon. How is that dream coming along? Give me your top three favourite examples of Kolkata street food.
  • You involve India’s cultural heritage heavily in your works. But how do you respond to the word Indian? Can you profess a singular ‘Indianness’, so to speak?
  • To the youngsters who haven’t heard of Matisse or Monet, who have been amongst some of your greatest impressionist inspirations, for colours or anything else that makes up art, why do we need art?
  • Suggest a fail-safe day and evening wear.
  • Which one is your favourite shopping stop?
  • What are you passionate about other than designing clothes?
  • What do you think is a must-have in Mumbai?
  • What are your five must-haves?
  • What is your new line is a slight departure from your signature style?
  • What’s your personal style statement?
  • People reference you as a design ambassador of our country. How does this weigh on you?
  • It can be said that with power comes responsibility – do you agree with this?
  • What kind of responsibilities do you think you are fulfilling in this big world of Fashion?
  • What key areas are you responsible for as a designer?
  • “We try to keep our customer secure by helping them find an identity that is very close to who they are”…according to who’s vision? Yours?
  • What did you mean earlier by, ‘we are trying to create a more purist ideology within our customer”, what is this ‘purist ideology’?
  • As a leader, how do you do you encourage people?
  • Where does your sense of nationalism stem from?
  • Your brand states that it “represents a comfort zone to global Indians and remains undestroyed through major socio-economical-political changes”. What is the ‘comfort zone’?
  • What do you mean when you say ‘the West’?
  • There are so many parts of North America and countries in Europe with a very strong sense of cultural identity and history, not to mention contributions to art history. How can you say Indians are more special?
  • Do you believe that in two or three generations everyone will still have a strong sense of ‘being Indian’ represented through wearing the national dress at such scale? This ‘middle class’ you speak of, they are the ones going to Bangkok to buy their flat screen TVs – they are the ones hungriest for change.
  • You speak about building a brand with a “very strong social perspective” – please explain what you mean by “social perspective”
  • Have you seen that change across generations? Reports indicate otherwise, that it’s yet to be seen in many craft areas whether or not they will thrive for the next generation.
  • Regarding Cannes, for the first time in years, the public and media in India had a strong reaction to a designer, which in itself is a positive change. What is your side of the Cannes story?
  • Icons are developed over years of consistency – not over a week at Cannes. Whereas Vidya does tend to wear saris, there is no clear sense of style that she adheres too. For instance, her shoots with Vogue are a complete departure from that look entirely. There is no consistency in terms of an ‘Iconic Vidya look’ just yet. Do you think this lead to a misunderstanding of your efforts?
  • Iconic Vidya’s outfits became anything but understated. There was still an opportunity within that esthetic to have diversity. And yet it was not chosen. Why was it consciously chosen to stick to the plan when the press in India was reacting so negatively?
  • One of the criticism was about Vidya was how she appeared to be wearing a costume. It didn’t seem to be something she would naturally wear. Do you think that reaction was justified, between costume and red carpet dressing?
  • Do you think that because you are a powerful brand, people will buy whatever you create?
  • Looking back, would have done anything differently at Cannes?
  • Several fans and fashionistas wait with bated breath for your showcase. What can they look forward to at the Lakmè Fashion Week Grand Finale?
  • Tell us about the theme for a season – Illuminate which in one of the interviews was stated as your favourite?
  • It’s been more than a decade since you were discovered. How have you seen Lakmè Fashion Week and the designers involved change over the years?
  • What do you have to say about the melange of technology and fashion that we get to see these days?
  • What are your thoughts on the Ministry of Textiles and Hon. minister Smriti Irani’s #IWearHandloom initiative on social media?
  • Since the wedding season is just around the corner, several fans wanted your comment on the top trends for brides.
  • Do you consider fashion a language?
  • What is your idea of style?
  • Do you see style and intellectuality as related concepts?
  • What are your observations on Indian society and beauty?
  • What do you think about India and its relationship with eroticism?
  • Does fashion have a political role?
  • What are the three signs of beauty for you in a woman?
  • You once said you were a traditionalist and that baring skin takes away the dignity of a woman. Why?
  • You’re known for being inspired by Frida Kahlo, anyone like Frida Kahlo alive? Someone who embodies qualities she had?

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