July 16, 2014

An Imperial ethnicity - inside Sabyasachi Mukherjee's new store

Time stood still as you enter into leading designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s new store. It’s like a palace. 

You might spellbound by the majestic décor inside the store. It is his temple, his durbar for those who love royal fashion trend. Located in a majestic colonial building at Mumbai’s art capital, Kala Ghoda, the newly opened Sabyasachi flagship store is overwhelmingly Indian. It feels like you’re walking into a grand palace, a green room or a walk-in-closet that could have easily belonged to a Rajput-era maharani. That’s what Sabaysachi perhaps wanted to achieve with his new believe for bridal shopping.

At his 8,500 square feet, two-storey structure grandeur store, whether it is his clothes or his spaces, every nook and corner gives a visual story that speaks of discreet Indian luxury. It’s a remarkable tale of our history, culture and heritage. The emphasis is on the past– times we once lived in and the things we love to cherish. The dramatic Sabaysachi sari borders, the antique zardosi embroidery, the usage of vivid desi colors and his handpicked textiles reflect his Indian sensibility.

The Kolkata-based designer says people are welcome to visit even if they don’t intend to buy anything. They can just come to look, feel inspired, get some tea or coffee, and soon, attend the cultural salons he plans to host in the lavish two-storey store where even the bathrooms have books that have been specially selected by Sabysachi. He took on a quick tour of the store, which he designed himself, pointing out the many collectibles and told the stories behind some of the hundreds of antique pieces that he sourced from Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad.

There are 22 vintage chandeliers; 400 ittar bottles (some of which are stuck to the surface so they’re not moved around when cleaned); 52 antique rugs; hand-wound clocks; courtyard pillars from Gujarat (that were eventually lengthened to the desired height by inserting wooden crates into their base like “puff pastry”); and hundreds of other items, including books from his father and from his own childhood collection. “My mother luckily is a hoarder,” he says. “And a lot of the others were begged, borrowed and stolen.”

At the launch, Sabyasachi announced that apart from hosting salons and personalized appointments for brides, he’d like to start Fashion Week-style couture shows at his store by next year. We can recall here that the Sabyasachi 2013 couture show was a landmark, in which he famously collaborated with Kishan Das & Co of Hyderabad, heritage jewellers since 1870. Every look that he sent out on the runway was styled with jewellery that became a benchmark for every bride and can be seen as a style lesson of sorts.

The same brand is now housing a specially curated line of jewellery designed by Sabyasachi, which is available for brides at a shop-in-shop at the store. Thrilled at this collaboration, Pratiksha Prashant of Kishan Das & Co, says, “Now brides who come shopping at Sabaysachi for their wedding can also get guidance from the designer and our team on jewellery that will complement their wedding outfit.”

Why only brides? One of the special suites at the store has a special division for grooms. It stocks, among other attires, sherwanis and badhgalas. Bespoke services and made-to-measure is made available for men too.

To-be-brides can personally catch up with the designer at the upcoming Vogue Wedding Show from August 1-3, 2014 in New Delhi at the Taj Palace Hotel. He will be showcasing his new couture week collection and also conduct personalised appointments for brides. Says Sabyasachi: “The team at Vogue has worked hard to curate and present a hand-picked selection under one roof. The launch edition last year well displayed their efforts and I look forward to an even better showcase this year.” On display will be his bridal lehengas, outfits for the main wedding, sangeet, mehendi and reception. His special collection for grooms too will be seen at this one of-its-kind exhibition. To register, log on to www.vogueweddingshow.in/register-now/The new Sabyasachi store in Mumbai is located at:
Ador House,
6 K Dubash Marg,
Kala Ghoda, Fort,
Mumbai – 400001
Contact: + 91 22 22044774/75

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