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August 1 2014

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He’s a One-Collection a Year Man

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When last we saw Sabyasachi Mukherjee, the following facts were established: 1) His label, Sabyasachi is based in Calcutta, 2) Sabyasachi is essentially Calcutta’s answer to Dries Van Noten, and 3) Unlike Van Noten, he produces only one collection per year. Now that he’s back in town for his runway show at the tents this afternoon, we finally had a chance to ask Mukherjee: Why only one season? “Well, partly it’s because I believe in trans-seasonal dressing,” he explained as he fitted a model in a hand-embroidered brocade coat. “And with global warming and everything, I think we’re really entering a trans-seasonal era. But more broadly, I’m not sure I like the idea of putting a six-month deadline on a way of dressing. Ideas—and clothes—should last longer than that.” Left unstated, perhaps, is another reason why a yearly show may appeal to Mukherjee: His clothes take a hell of a long time to make. A minidress covered in hand-textured, individually lined scallops, for example, took two workers about three and a half weeks to craft. Other pieces, such as a printed silk, forties-inspired jacket, are less labor intensive but no less fine in their detail. And as it turns out, there is another Sabyasachi collection produced each year—but this one, fans, you’ll have to go to India to find. “I do saris and other regional styles for the local market,” Mukherjee said. “So, it’s not like I’m not staying busy.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sabyasachi Mukherjee

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