Friday, 20 July 2012

Sabyasachi and Nostalgia - Do we go backward to go forward?

The power of nostalgia is undeniably a serious business,  and a very profitable one too. We always look back longingly to the past and no one understands this better than Sabyasachi Mukherjee. He has used the power of nostalgia and shown us how it can be glamorous, feminine and pretty all in one. Before I go on to talk more about this I think it will be helpful to define the meaning of the word ‘new’ in fashion?

New is innovative, it is something that is changed in an existing product design or creation of something that has never been witnessed before. Sometimes people think it is new or modern but in fact it is not, for instance let us take the pop sensation Lady Gaga’s style in clothing. She has taken the old Punk, Goth and Madonna’s old style and tailored it to suit her own needs making the old into something new!

Likewise, Sabyasachi has shown that modern fashion does not need to be showcased with the unknown, he has
simply looked back at what was fashionable once and effortlessly used it once again – almost like travelling back in time, like painting over old landscapes whose surfaces are already traced, like redeveloping an old film reel in color and a better paper stock. The revival of traditional Indian clothing (saris, kalidars and lenghas) by Sabyasachi is a paradigm of this process of historical telescoping.

Sabyasachi’s use of nostalgia in his design aesthetics is almost like a crusade against mass-fashion clothing. A rebellion against the idea of constant progress, against temporal irreversibility. He makes us remember our past romantically when everyone was just a little more authentic a little more real. He has made our past, our traditions, our heritage a cultural style, a trend that has now attained a ubiquitous popularity and an aura of enduring cool. He has used Indianess as a currency around the world.

In an interview Sabyasachi was asked this question:Your clothes seem to appeal to the young girls as well as their mothers and grandmothers. What is it about your clothes that make for such a wide

Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s response
- It is a very simple thing: A sense of timelessness and non-pretentious pure good Indian clothes. Also there is a very justified co-relation between price and product – which is the reason why the business is scaling so much. In short we try to cut the fat of fashion. Its fine to satisfy your frills and fancies, but you will come back to your daal-chawal and Sabyasachi at the end of the day.

His response says it all, I need not add anymore!

Some brands have consumers; Sabyasachi Mukherjee tends to have fans.

The only barrier we face is the limit of our imagination and Sayasachi’s creativity and imagination is limitless.


  1. This is a brilliant post.

  2. Ye sI do think going backward is actually moving forward.

  3. Leela, Bangalore20 July 2012 at 11:08

    Sabyasachi does not know how to make traditional look trendy. Very good

  4. So true, but I would even say Sabyasachi uses old trends/patterns and styling but creates a silhouette that is more flattering and visually pleasing than older styles. He is moving forward, but at the same time looking back. Genius!