Starting off the conversation on a nostalgic note, Sabyasachi says, “I had a very idyllic childhood. I grew up in the suburbs. I used to row a boat to school while learning Rabindra Sangeet because my parents wanted to give us a cultural upbringing,” he says. “My mother and Madonna were early influences in my life. My mother always encouraged me to look into Arts. Madonna was the first pop singer I listened to.”
Asked about his inspiration, he says, “I draw inspiration from everything around me, be it people, books, films, forest, and even silence. It is almost like I have a camera fitted in my head which keeps recording and plays it back for me when I work on my collections.”
On his success, he explains, “People think that success came to me very easily because I was an overnight success. But they do not know of 10 years of struggle before I started my fashion career. In 1999, I graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology with three major awards and four months later I floated my own label,” says Sabyasachi.
Having worked with numerous celebrities, does he have a fashion muse? “I don’t design for a muse because my market is my muse. I am a designer who has a communist approach to fashion and would like to include as many people in my label as possible.”
“The Sabyasachi brand is dedicated to reviving old textiles and creating clothes which give Indians across the world a very strong intellectual, cultural and emotional connect. Meaningful design comes from embracing yourself and a reflection of Calcutta shows in what I do in my stores. I have always been fascinated by Indian surrealism.”
Sabyasachi adds, “I am proud of India and I work hard to manifest that and also take risks. My last collection showcased at AICW ’15 Bater was a risque collection. In terms of intricacy, dexterity, and skill, I would rate it as my strongest couture collection yet. Varanasi collection, on the other hand, captures my abiding love for the city and India’s heritage.”
As a designer, what are his observations on bridal couture? “A common mistake that people make is that they only buy fine clothing for their trousseau. I always recommend traditional and cultural clothing for the trousseau because what you take along with you to your new home represents the values of your family,” advises the connoisseur.