The Yellow Brick Road


Sabyasachi: Yellow Brick Road

For the first time in Indian fashion, an artiste of Shubha Mudgal’s stature performed live, as equally classical clothes by Sabyasachi Mukherjee walked the ramp. For Sabyasachi, who bristles over the flippancy associated with fashion, “Peeli Kothi”, the collection was a way to reclaim a lost territory. It was named after a lane in Benaras where weavers used to sell their saris. Tell him that “territory” is a political term and he doesn’t flinch. “The territory of intelligent, Indian fashion that I didn’t dig into as much as I should have, because I focussed instead on expansion,” he elaborates.

“Peeli Kothi” was no ordinary shovel. It dug out stories we may be inclined to forget as much of the world grapples with an end of mystery in clothing. Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, fine, woven khadi, hand-embroidered gara, Benarasi brocade and zardozi, Ajrakh from Gujarat and kantha from Bholpur created uncanny partnerships in his garments. Mudgal’s voice rose from one arch to another, decoding why Indianness is not about swimming against the tide, it is, in fact, a lifeguard. Revivalism can become a jaded intellectual pursuit, unless it finds a clientele. It may be Sabyasachi’s boon and bane. Enough people buy his garments. But those who do, may not be passionate about the India story. Ironical, isn’t it, that “intelligent, responsible clothing” doesn’t really need intelligence to walk the yellow brick road? Just wealth will do.