My love for handcrafted design - that’s an obsession I’m never getting out of. All of that ingenuity coupled with beautiful designs, skilled artisans, local artists, age-old design sensibilities and traditional ideas that take on contemporary life - it’s a feast for the eyes. Going back to your roots and making them your identity in a modern way, that has always been fascinating for me. And as you already know, I’m a big fan of Sabyasachi and Sanjay Garg (of Raw Mango), two artists who completely reinvented the landscape of traditional design. They bring back nostalgia in the form of clothes and ideas recreating a new world for people like me who want to wear a bit of history, a bit of passion and art.
And this week, as I browsed their newest collections, I was left with a feeling of awe. And a feeling that these two collections, no matter how different they are, are going to change my wardrobe and my views towards design once again. Because both of them touched the most beautiful inspiration board that one can work with - vintage florals and botanicals. And now these age-old ideas have been resuscitated to create a whole new world of modern living through nature’s bounty. They help Indian women create a new identity for themselves and that means experimenting with fabrics, textures and textiles from the past.
In a trend-obsessed world, Sabyasachi’s new Mughal Garden collection is a place where timeless identities are created, nurtured and made to thrive. It’s stunning and such a welcome relief from his earlier collections which felt almost the same in terms of motifs. It was getting monotonous because everyone is wearing the same lehengas and the same designs - copies were being made and his craft was being shredded to bits by cheap rip-offs. Change was on stand-by for a while. And this collection came to breathe a new life into our closets.
Botanical prints are in and I’m so happy because I’ve been in love with them forever. The lehengas are gorgeous, blouses are handcrafted to perfection and the jewellery by Kishandas & Co made the look regal and becoming. Much as I loved the collection, I just wish Sabyasachi had experimented a little more with colour though. His colour palette is earthy and raw, but it needed a bigger push, a bigger change. Has he shifted his design sensibilities enough to give us a whole new world to play with? Not really! As much as I loved this collection, there is something missing, a certain richness that his outfits always come with.
That said, I will not take away from the genius that he has been with this collection, giving botanicals a new recourse, creating a new bride who loves simplicity and delicate florals. This fresh modern view of vintage botanicals will always be part of his journey and I’m caught up in its magic! PS: I love the wallpaper more than the outfits in this campaign. * I’m guilty as charged!
Another designer on the other hand, Sanjay Garg created a capsule collection for Bungalow 8 with sheer florals and Chanderi offerings. Sanjay comes with his own plan - his saris are so delicate and feminine, so easy to wear and his new collection takes this idea a step further! The transparency of the saris melded into the rawness of the floral blouses - it looked shabby chic with a luxe touch. I liked that Sanjay once again went off the beaten track from his rich Benarasi fabrics into a world that’s botanical and nature-centric. I cannot wait to create a wedding around it :D. There is such delicateness and romanticism attached to these beauties and am hungry for more!
So, what are you loving in design these days? Is there inspiration round the corner? What has touched your soul these days?