If you’ve been following the fashion-fest that is Cannes 2013, then you might have noticed Vidya Balan – in attendance for the first time as jury member, and one of various actors representing the Indian film industry – rolling out two quite spectacular looks yesterday (and unfortunately also one quite questionable one). We’re going to go with the hits, and you should make ready to still your hearts.
Vidya Balan at the Cannes Film Festival 2013
The designer is Sabyasachi Mukherjee, creator of some of the most exquisite fashion in the sub-continent (at least according to this quite obsessed half of the Funoon team), and favourite of Bollywood A-listers such as Aishwariya Rai, Sri Devi, Rani Mukherjee, and of course Vidya Balan. The word most often used to describe his work is ’poetry’.
Sabyasachi works mostly with traditional Indian styles, such as the sari and lehnga. The most obvious hallmark of his clothes is the fine, intricate detailing, and the innovative use of pattern and texture, often reflecting the best in Indian textiles and crafts. But at his best (and there are misses – I’m not a big fan of the bridal styling in his show Band Baaja Bride for example) he manages to fuse grand, old world charm with modern silhouettes, and some quirky nods to western style sensibilities.
Neha Dhupia at the Times of India Film Awards 2013, Vancouver
Lashings of lace and tulle, printed petticoats, full underskirts, and trademark tone-on-tone embroidery give Sabyasachi’s designs an opulence which is expertly held in check by an often exaggerated sense of demureness – long skirts, high necks, and full sleeves are a regular feature. He often talks about the ‘dignity’ of his clothes and the women who wear them, emphasizing that his clothes are for women of all shapes and sizes to ‘celebrate themselves’ in.
Aishwariya Rai at the opening of the Bulgari Hotel in London, 2012
Whilst a gratuitous fawn over some of the world’s most beautiful clothes is a worthwhile end in itself, there is a further point to this post. And that is to tell you that Sabyasachi is coming to London – Aashni & Co. in Notting Hill to be precise – to host a trunk show of his classic collection. The show will run from Friday 17th to Saturday 18th, 11am-6pm. We will be there, and you should be too. More details are here. Or you can call Aashni and Co. on 0207 985 0155.