Not just couture, ace fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee has now made uniforms for a girls’ school in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
The designer took to Instagram to share a picture of students of Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School, in Sabyasachi uniforms. This includes a blue knee-length dress with a round neck, three-quarter sleeves, and two patch pockets, along with maroon cropped elastic waist pants.
View this post on Instagram
Ajrakh uniforms by Sabyasachi for the Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. @dianakelloggarchitects Initiated by Citta @cittaorg @mdaube, a non-profit organisation based in the USA. Photo Courtesy: @bharathram #Sabyasachi #CittaOrg #CittaIndia #DianaKelloggArchitects #GirlsEducation #TheWorldOfSabyasachi
What particularly catches one’s attention is the ajrakh work on the uniform, around the skirt and the sleeves. Ajrakh is a unique form of block printing, famous in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Ajrakh products are usually made with natural vegetable and mineral dyes. Indigo is a key dye.
This school has been set up as part of an initiative by CITTA, a non-profit organisation founded by American artist Michael Daube. Designed by New York-based architect Diana Kellogg, the school aims to not only educate underprivileged girls but also form a base for women’s skill-building and provide access to independent and meaningful work, as mentioned on its official website.
Daube was highly moved when he came across ajrakh, deemed one of the most complex craft techniques worldwide. “And what made it truly compelling to me socially is that this textile is still being practised by both Hindu and Muslim craftsmen, mostly from the Khatri community,” Daube was quoted as saying by Vogue.
In another Instagram post, Sabyasachi wrote, “I have always believed in the transformative power of education. Especially dear to me are initiatives that focus their resources on educating girls…So when Michael Daube from Citta approached me to design school uniforms…I was thrilled.”
View this post on Instagram
Ajrakh uniforms by Sabyasachi for the Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. @dianakelloggarchitects Initiated by Citta @cittaorg @mdaube, a non-profit organisation based in the USA. #Sabyasachi #CittaOrg #CittaIndia #DianaKelloggArchitects #GirlsEducation #TheWorldOfSabyasachi
Talking about his creative process, Sabyasachi further wrote, “When designing these outfits, I wanted to make sure they reflected the region’s craft heritage, with the hopes that it would highlight for the young girls the beauty and power inherent to craft, as well as provide a better sense of community, connection, and pride for their home.”
The school is officially slated to open in December 2020.