The 28-year old Sabyasachi is very proud of the clothes that he has designed for Laaga Chunari … “as it was the third time I was dressing my favourite Rani Mukerji. It is always a pleasure to do outfits for her as she is not fussy at all. As for working with Yash Raj Films, though it was my first time, it was like going to college as everything was done systematically. They are the most organised people and I had a good time working with the unit,” he admits. Sabyasachi has also designed the clothes for Jaya Bachchan and Konkona Sen Sharma in the film.
Sabyasachi says that since Laaga Chunari …is about a humble family based in Benares, he had to keep it simple. “In the first half, Rani is a simple small-town girl. In the second half though, there is a great transition in her outlook as she is now an escort and as a high-class call girl, she is made to look very sexy.” For this, she was given classy designer clothes, sunglasses, high heels and elegant bags, something she has never done before. “Something like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman,” he beams adding that he has worked with Rani earlier in Black (a film that is close to his heart as he bagged the National award for the period clothes) and then in Ravi Chopra’s Baabul.
For the small-town look, he has given both Rani and Konkona the local printed chintz kurtas, patialas and chanderi dupattas. “I have used a lot of cottons to go according to the decorum of the characters, that of UP-ite families. For Mrs. Bachchan, I have made her wear loose fitting jaama blouses with cotton sarees and no accessories except for hari chudiyaan. She carries a small coin purse, stating the fact that she has none or very little money to put in it. Her aging goes well with her character of a lady struggling to keep her family surviving in dire circumstances,” he says.
The other designers involved with the costumes in Laaga Chunari …are Manish Malhotra, Subarna Ray Chaudhuri and Shiraz Siddique and talking about them, he says that each one had a character for whom they designed clothes and “since I am practically new and have yet to gain a foothold in the film industry, I would take the help of Subarna who I have known since childhood. We bonded very well.”
For a designer who is known for his ensembles that have universal appeal and for his ‘Indianised’ Milan collection, Sabyasachi loves to experiment with garments, his speciality being coats, jackets, skirts, sarees, as well as using a lot of lace, voiles, chiffons and georgettes. All this comes from books, confesses the designer adding that for the recent London Fashion Week held from September 15 to 20 followed by ramp shows in New York, his Nomad Collection was inspired by two books, Paul Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello and Kite Runner by Khalil Hosseini. The clothes were multi-cultured with ideas from all over like Khazakistan, Soviet Russia, Communist China, India, and so on. It was a great hit.
Presently Sabyasachi is busy with his collection in London, Paris and New York for sales. He admits candidly that films are not his main occupation, “I am doing it just for fun. In fact, I have given up a lot of offers as I was not convinced with the projects,” he adds that his work in Laaga Chunari Mein Daag will prove his potential as a designer to the film fraternity and until then “I shall wait for a fantastic script to come my way,” he beams