Genius comes easy to Sabyasachi Mukherjee. The Kolkata couturier has perfected the art of stage spectacle. Whether he lines the runway with vintage clocks,potted plants,dusty portraits and armoire desks,or,in this case,a line of crystal bedecked chandeliers and strings of lightbulbs nothing ever casts a shadow on his creations; nothing detracts from his vision.
On a wood-finished ramp flanked by red velvet-covered seating,we see Mukherjees modern-day maharani take shape,wearing an austere black bandhgala sherwani with oversized gold buttons and polki earrings. Diamonds glitter at her throat as she steps out in a floral belted jacket top with a monotone embroidered pencil skirt. She dons a chamois satin sari with peek-a-boo lace pleats and teams it with a Chanel-esque striped knit blouse,topped off with an emerald-centred diamond necklace worth a few crores. Hows that for nonchalant hedonism?
One of the seasons biggest trends tone-on-tone embroidery adorns stark black gowns,bright red fishtail skirts and ecru bandhgalas,and speaks of a quieter sophistication. In contrast,the diamond neck-pieces,earrings and bangle stack dazzle in all their glory.
Layering attempts to juxtapose techniques against each other and every ensemble is a balancing act with glitter and gold embroidery meeting pale-coloured prints and quilting and panelling. In a clever play of contrasts,a plain deep green quilted lehenga is paired with a sequinned floor-length jacket and a softer nude-coloured embellished net dupatta. Mukherjees men too wear jackets and bandhgalas in tonal embroidery,quilting and floral prints with matching turbans. The colours too stick to a sophisticated palette with blacks,red and nudes mingling with gold,greens and whites.
And while Lakmes winter/festive theme called for a degree of finery,the few pared down pieces in the 57-garment collection offer us fleeting glimpses of the Mukherjee of yore,who made us fall in love with simple hand-spun khadi,made prim bow blouses sexy and made the trapeze dress a trend statement. How about a pure prêt showcase next time,Mr. Mukherjee?