Image: Wowdings - Flickr
Image: Wowdings - Flickr

Sabyasachi: South Asian high fashion

When one usually thinks of designer brands, our Westernised thoughts steer towards Gucci, Versace, and brands like Louis Vuitton. While these western designers do in fact boast expensive and exclusive pieces, none seem to match the elegance of Sabyasachi. Considering the reach of these Western designer brands, it is assumed that they would hold the same weight and range as Sabyasachi, yet this brand arguably outshines many designer brands worldwide.

The most lucrative of them all, Sabyasachi is a brand that builds on the intense fashion history of South Asia and elevates it to high fashion and pure glamour. Sabyasachi Mukherjee is an Indian fashion designer from Kolkata, West Bengal. Since the early 2000s, Mukherjee has pursued fashion under the now-iconic label Sabyasachi. Not limiting himself to purely clothing, the brand has ventured into jewellery, film costumes and recently furnishing.

Likely to be the dream of most desi romantics, sporting a Sabyasachi outfit at one’s wedding is surreal. Most of the fancy desi wedding videos on YouTube feature a Sabyasachi outfit at one point, whether it be for the sangeet or reception. Let us envision the perfect scenario: your wedding takes place in a random mustard field, the wind blowing through your gorgeous orange lehenga with ‘tujhe dekha to’ playing in the background, utter perfection.

Sabyasachi holds a certain elegance to its name, just exuding prestige

With an entire page dedicated to ‘Brides of Sabyasachi’, the wedding industry in India is clearly at its peak. Featured in many celebrity weddings and regular weddings, Sabyasachi is desirable wedding attire. Sitting alongside many other desi high-fashion brands, Netflix’ original show ‘The Big Day’ features brides of Sabyasachi in a classic red lehenga.

Despite the insane coverage and weight held to its name, Sabyasachi is a rather elusive brand. With a mere 4 flagship stores in India, its tertiary stores are numerous across the world. However, Sabyasachi is not a brand you can simply order online with ease, it comes with minimal online shopping as it retains its elite image. Like most Indian clothing stores, they are very secretive with their clothing, limiting pictures in showrooms due to the fear of stolen designs.

Sabyasachi holds a certain elegance to its name, just exuding prestige. The pieces are undeniably a work of pure art, handcrafted and intricate details show the work and thought put into these clothes. Showing the regional and cultural niches of Kolkata, Sabyasachi is a brand that so proudly boasts the beauty of South-Asian attire. In addition to the proud display of desi attire, Sabyasachi has undeniably pioneered Indian textiles while utilising classical techniques in his work.

There are several stunning pieces for desi men

The latest 2021 collection is yet another work of art, featuring varying pieces from light floral designs to intricate and classic lehengas. Boasting a wide range of styles, Sabyasachi 2021 is setting high standards yet again for high fashion worldwide. Among the most stunning of them all is a light but intricate set of a lehenga and kurta; though not usually my preference, these outfits are utterly gorgeous with their detailing and flattering colours.

While high fashion typically caters to women, Sabyasachi provides glamour and elegance for men too. Creating arguably some of the sleekest outfits for men, there are several stunning pieces for desi men to admire. Incorporating some timeless banarasi silk, this pink outfit brings elegance and a sense of fun due to its bright colour.

Celebrities such as the gorgeous Deepika Padukone have partnered with Sabyasachi on numerous occasions to give us so many timeless pieces. Perhaps my favourite of them all, the matching set with Ranveer at Priyanka and Nick Jonas’ wedding was a stunning black and gold lehenga and kurta set. The gold detailing complemented both Deepika and Ranveer’s complexions, likening their looks to royalty.

It seems reasonable to place the price so high considering the sheer elegance

It is now time to approach the long-awaited topic: the price. With high fashion comes high prices, and Sabyasachi is not afraid to price its elite pieces accordingly. To shed some light on Sabyasachi prices at their highest, let us explore the celebrity brides who opt for custom pieces. Anushka Sharma opted for a pastel pink, jewelled floral wedding lehenga, which is estimated to cost around INR 8.75 Lakhs (roughly £8500). With roughly 32 days of handwork, the high cost is expected considering the materials and such intricacy.

Deepika Padukone was a full Sabyasachi bride, even down to the niche jewellery aspects. Her wedding lehenga was a gorgeous sindoor red, with heavy detailing and gorgeous light gold stitching. This also cost an estimated INR 12 Lakhs (roughly £12,000). Once again, for the intricacy and unmatched design, it seems reasonable to place the price so high considering the sheer elegance.

With regular Sabyasachi pieces still holding upper-end prices ranging between £3000-6000 for a full lehenga, it is entirely expected to place the brand in the elite and prestigious designer category. Considering the materials, passion, and detailing, Sabyasachi is arguably amongst the world’s worthy designer brands. The sheer elegance exuding from a Sabyasachi piece is more than enough to dream of on a big day. If fortunate enough to ever own a Sabyasachi piece, I guarantee it would be worn everywhere.

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