He is essentially a storyteller, a master at that, in fact. And when Kolkata designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee opened the Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers India Couture Week 2014 on Tuesday night at the Taj Palace in Delhi, it was yet another tale soaked in nostalgia that he had carefully spun. Titled “Ferozabad”, the elaborate collection had its fair share of hits and misses.
INDULGENT ERA: What’s a Sabyasachi show without drama? And this time, his story was set in a vintage train, on its way to the town of Ferozabad, evoking an old-world charm. The sets were elaborate — separate bogies with bunk beds, a well-stocked bar, a sophisticated dining space and tons of trunks. Apart from models sashaying, there were actors too — a man reading a paper, looking out of the window, a chatty woman and a couple sipping on drinks. There was no ramp and the models walked past the passengers of the beautiful coach, to the sound of Drive away by Thomas Newman. Add to that, the charm of bearded male models. Trust Mukherjee to create an atmosphere unlike any other.
FLORAL GLORY: The designer continued his ongoing affair with floral prints and intricate embroidered flowers on ensembles in “Ferozabad” too. Male models walked in floral blazers and bandhgalas, the women sported saris and lehengas with appliquéd zardozi flowers that gave the clothes an opulent yet understated feel. Mukherjee’s flowers found place on tablecloths and in vases too, in perfect tandem with this floral theme.
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SILHOUETTES: The collection had plenty of colours, silhouettes and fabrics. So, while one model walked in a khadi sari with a red zardozi pallu, the other flaunted a heavy, vintage Banarasi sari. There were lehengas with cut-work detailing, paired with waistcoats embellished with semi-precious stones and slim belts, Nehru jackets, hand blocked-printed bandhgalas with trousers, khadi kurta churidars, kurta-ghaghra, sherwanis and patchwork blazers. Pink, green, blue, black and red dominated the colour palette and he used fabrics such as taffeta, tulle, poplin, crepe, net, chiffon and pashmina. There were also traces of Parsi embroideries, thread work and chikankari. For a designer who was bogged down due to the opening of his Mumbai store, this was quite an elaborate collection.
DÉJÀ VU: Mukherjee dives into nostalgia and takes others with him on this journey. But, season after season of the same torrid affair with all things vintage, we’re getting a bit jaded. We know what to expect from his shows — the story is the same, the settings different. Sabyasachi has already embraced the floral opulence. He never disappoints, but he doesn’t surprise either.