Sabyasachi Mukherjee, one of India’s most-sought after designers, recently completed 20 glorious years in the business. To commemorate his monumental success, the designer has launched a new exclusive collection in collaboration with French fashion designer Christian Louboutin. Titled ‘Kashgaar Bazaar: In Retrospect’, the latest collection is inspired by his first design collection which he created for his graduation in the summer of 1999. Inspired by global gypsies, nomads, prostitutes, performing artists and his imagination of the Silk Route, it explores the conflict between cultures, colours, textiles and crafts.
The designer took to Instagram to announce the collaboration. “Under the overarching theme of rustic baroque, the entire collection is a patchwork of different textile influences derived from the Silk Route. Strung together in an organic manner, with beads, sequins, tinsel and silk thread. With a focus on resort and glamping, acid-burnt textiles, mirror-work, phulkari, zardosi, and inspirational techniques and motifs from Central Asian carpets constitute the foundation of the Christian Louboutin x Sabyasachi collaboration capsule, that has a potent tribal yet cosmopolitan energy”, he said.
The Kashgaar Bazaar collection of fine jewellery breaks the mould of traditional Indian jewellery by fusing cultural anecdotes from far and exotic places that have influenced Sabyasachi’s body of work. From Africa to Central Asia, through the North-West Frontier Province into the bylanes of Rajasthan and Varanasi, through hidden pockets of Kashmir, remote villages of Tibet and into the colourful bustle of the Far East, the collection is an eclectic mix of exuberance, old-world craftsmanship and a modern spirit of vintage whimsy.
Unusual pairings of Zambian and Colombian emeralds, Burmese and Mozambique rubies with Iranian turquoise and Chinese jade, hand-picked moonstones, Catseye, Jasper, hessonite, sapphires, topaz, coral and pearls are sculpted with impeccable craftsmanship to create modern heirlooms.
The designer also shared a few words on his brand ethos, “The soul of Sabyasachi lies in craftsmanship – a value system that has remained unchanged since I started the brand 20 years ago. As you grow, it is very easy for values to be replaced by misplaced ambition. But I am proud to say that this value system has survived in our organisation. There were times when to cut costs and offer competitive pricing, one could have mechanised hand skills. But we do quite the opposite. Every bit of our merchandise uses more and more craft each year. Sometimes impossible detailing like hand-made buttonholes, desi meena in jewellery and cutting kundan, 24 colour screen lining are just some of the many things that go completely unnoticed by a majority of our consumers. But these processes create innumerable jobs year after year. From master weavers to dyers, printers to embroiderers, cutters to tailors, artists to carpenters, metal workers to sculptors, merchandisers to IT professionals, photographers to filmmakers, musicians to writers- the company supports over 27,000 people directly and indirectly. They are based out of West Bengal, Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our ecosystem of people who have grown and survived with us is our proudest achievement and no amount of recognition or adulation can ever replace that. These are the people who create the world of Sabyasachi. Tirelessly. Without compromise. Every single day.”