Exclusive: Sabyasachi Talks All Things Fashion With TeamMissMalini

Karen Alfonso , 04 Apr 2013
Sabyasachi Mukherjee (photo courtesy | NDTV Good Times)
Sabyasachi Mukherjee (photo courtesy | NDTV Good Times)

On a balmy summer’s day, I trotted off to Sabyasachi’s store in Kala Godha, Mumbai for a one -on-one with him. The designer was in town to shoot an episode of Band Baaja Bride. At first you’re taking in all the sights his store has to offer. It’s a fashionable version of Ali Baba’s cave. Antique clocks juxtaposed with vintage photographs make a heady mix.

Sabyasachi's store (photo courtesy | Karen Alfonso)
Sabyasachi’s store (photo courtesy | Karen Alfonso)

We grabbed him out from his shoot for 5 mins to talk all things style.

There’s a transcript of the conversation below:

Team MissMalini(TeamMM): What was your first ever fashion memory

Sabyasachi Mukherjee (SM):  I think my favourite fashion memory was, making a bias cut trapeze dress for my sister when I was in class 4 and it was done in black velvet … and it really badly tailored. But my sister loved and it was the first dress I have ever made. I just feel very proud of it.

Who is the one person who changed your life?

SM: I think the one person who changed my life[Pauses]I would probably  have to say, my grandmother. Because, when everyone else was against the idea of me becoming a designer   My parents were educationists – they wanted me to have a greater career. My grandmother told them, “no, let the boy choose his own path.”

TeamMM:How does inspiration come to you? As a whole or in bits and pieces?

SM: Well, you see my mind is like a great big camcorder which is constantly looking at things around it. I process the information in my conscious and my subconscious. And so sometimes.. you know when I get instigated by a sight or a smell or a mood – then all of it comes gushing back and that’s how  I process my designs.

Sabyasachi and a bride (photo courtesy | NDTV Good Times)
Sabyasachi and a bride (photo courtesy | NDTV Good Times)

TeamMM: How do you want women to feel in your designs?

SM: Comfortable

TeamMM: Who is one person you would love to see in your designs but haven’t?

SM: [Pauses]Err..If I had a fantastic wish list… I would have to say Madonna.

TeamMM: Which is one young Indian designer whose work you admire?

SM: Aneeth Arora – Pero. [Aneeth Arora’s label Pero] I think she is absolutely fantastic. I think…I think, I really admire her sensibility  and the fact that Aneeth has such a strong sense of restraint. She is a very mature individual.

TeamMM: How does Sabyasachi, the designer dress?

TeamMM: Very simply. I wear very simple high street clothes. For me, comfort is the main issue. I can’t be fussy at all and I like wearing organic clothing. Cotton is my favourite fabric.

TeamMM: Would you ever do a lower-priced line?

SM: 100%  The idea is to do that. Every year we try to do a small segment of clothing, where the prices get cheaper and cheaper and the quality gets better and better. So that, more people can afford our clothing. I am very excited about the possibility of a lot of middle class people being able to afford Sabyasachi. So, I will definitely.

TeamMM: Best piece of advice you have ever got?

SM: Be Yourself

 TeaMM: And who has said this to you?

SM: All my friends and family – and people around me. And I think it was Mr Albert Morris from Browns [ The London fashion store] who said, ‘ Sabyasachi, your beauty lies in the fact that you’re a wonderful human being and never change that.’  I think… I think that was very sweet.

TeamMM: What piece of advice can you give Indian women?

SM: Believe in your Indian self. Believe in your sensuality, believe in dignity, believe in culture. And just don’t get pressurized  by the fashion world trying to change you and morph you from somebody you are today to somebody you are tomorrow, that you can’t identify. As you keep your self-belief and identity intact – nothing can go wrong.

TeamMM: What’s next from Sabyasachi?

SM: Well, we are planning on a lot of expansion plans but, currently I would just like to say that I would like to go for a long holiday – atleast for 3 weeks.

TeamMM: And Where Do You Want to Go?

SM:  I would love to go to the south of Italy, with my sister and her husband.

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