We can only imagine the buzz and chatter that filled the air last night at Amazon India Couture Week in anticipation of Sabyasachi’s opening collection and his collaboration with famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin. This was special for a number of reasons. For years, European designers have come to India for inspiration and for the skills of India’s artisans but have always showcased their work outside of India on the runways of London, New York, Paris, etc. What’s unique about Sabyasachi’s collaboration with Christian Louboutin is that, for the first time, the skills and talents of a European designer are lent in support of an Indian designer and the work is being shown on Indian soil.
The Inspiration: We were expecting to see a full-on explosion of red lehengas, anarkalis and sarees since that is what the designer teased for his Fall/Winter 2015 bridal collection. But what he presented for the couture show was quite different. While there were several pieces in the collection that were a deep, decadent red – Louboutin red, perhaps – the majority of the collection was dark and somber. Exploring the darker realm was exactly what the designer had in mind, inspired by birds of prey, such as the “bater” a common hunting bird in India, for which the collection was named.
The Collection: When Sabyasachi first came on the design scene, his work had a vintage, old world charm that was very different from anything anyone else was doing at the time. It was also quite buttoned up and conservative. As he’s evolved as a designer, so has his ideal of the woman for whom he designs. This season, she is strong, sleek and seductive – but Sabyasachi seductive – so, it’s the sensuality of a bare shoulder, a sliver of skin showing down the front of a dress and peek-a-boo bralettes under capes. The color palette was also a surprise, comprising mostly of black, midnight blue, deep greens and metallic shades of gold and grey. There was also a romantic, Victorian feel to the clothes, especially the use of tulle and delicate lace detailing which was a nice contrast against the muted palette. According to the designer, the entire collection was made from embroidered material rather than fabric, which explains the heavily embellished look of the clothes. The intricate embroidery also showed up on the shoes designed by Louboutin.
The Verdict: Although, this wasn’t a huge departure from anything we’ve seen from the designer before, there were some standout pieces. We especially loved the short embellished dresses, a tulle saree trimmed in beautiful lace-like embroidery, an asymmetrical black kurta worn over a beautiful ivory embroidered skirt as well as the stunning red lehenga shown at the end of the show. But the star of the collection was the embroidery work which ranged from sequins that looked like scales, filigree detailing, netting, lattice work and lace that gave the clothes a very different feel from what we’ve seen before.
Images courtesy of: FDCI