Maharani Mode

It seems whenever I watch old films – Bolly or Holly – I look at the craftsmanship, the art and the heart of those clothes. Same goes, of course, for couture’s old masters. That level of love and effort isn’t visible in clothes anymore – or it’s rare to see.

In a world of mass consumption, mass production, pre-fabrication and machine made, machine stamped, machine stitched, it is not often that you see true artistry and passion in any collection these days. And when you do, you know it.

Such is the case with Sabyasachi Mukherjee. His Bridal Sutra collection that closed Lakme Fashion Week for FW09 back in April, was nothing short of majestic.

Sabyasachi FW09
Sabyasachi FW09

Known as Sabyasachi, he has been one to watch on both sides of the Atlantic for a number of years. He was one of the first designers to use Indian fabrics in a modern way. There is an old-world charm and richness to his designs and a definite nod, not only to literature, but to Indian art masters including Raja Ravi Varma and a multitude of maharanis, both real and imaginary.

The velvel palloo on this saree reminds me...
The velvet palloo on this saree reminds me...
...of Raja Ravi Varma's painting of Draupaudi Carrying Milk & Honey
...of Raja Ravi Varma's painting of Draupaudi Carrying Milk & Honey

Thinking of Gayatri Devi, and the life she must have led in her 90 years, I imagined all the fantastical things she must have worn to represent her role as Rajmata of Jaipur. Any of these pieces would have been perfect on her, especially this regal saree, something she always looked best in, in my opinion.

Sabyasachi's regal saree from a bygone era...
Sabyasachi's regal saree from a bygone era...
Gayatri Devi demonstrating the grace of a Maharani in a saree
Gayatri Devi demonstrating the grace of a Maharani in a saree

[Click on the thumbnails to see the larger images.]

My head is filled with reflections of old meets new, of slower times with more craftsmanship, artistry, passion. Perhaps I lived in those times in a different life. These musings and inspirations will release themselves slowly in posts to come. They are pieces, floating fantastically for now.

And isn’t fashion supposed to do that? Inspire us to be fantastical? To dream? Sabyasachi seems to know it to be true. As do I.

Sabyasachi images source. Ravi Varma image sources: Draupadi , Raja and Rani. Jind Kaur image source. Royal family of Patna image source. Gayatri Devi image source.

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