A big name back home in India, the Calcutta-based designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is less well-known abroad, but it appears that's starting to change: Not only has he been invited to participate in the International Herald Tribune's "Sustainable Luxury" conference in New Delhi this December, but he presented his third Spring show in New York to a full house.
Indian autumn, it turns out, relates weather-wise to American spring, so Mukherjee adapts the collection he shows in Mumbai for export West. Backstage, he was armed with the requisite list of references (a lot of French names: Paul Gauguin, Edith Piaf, etc.), but admitted that in the process of creation "inspiration gets completely blurred. I just believe in making good clothes." True to his word, the show was full of covetable separates, many with exquisite hand embroideries, quilting, and beading that could only be done in India but have true global appeal. One of his talents is to make seemingly prim silhouettes pop, so the uncharacteristically too-short and too-sexy scalloped pieces hit a false note. But what he was able to do with the dirndl and the classic bow blouse (shown cape-backed and constructed of a mélange of prints) was impressive. They were imbued with an almost French ooh-la-la, suggesting that Mukherjee is becoming increasingly fluent in the international language of fashion.