Couturier Sayantan Sarkar gives Indian weaves a global narrative in his new collection, An Oblivion Dream
A few minutes into our chat with Sayantan Sarkar, and we had ascertained that the Kolkata-based designer is perhaps the only sartorial originator from the city who realises and appreciates just how much street style matters to us. His new resort wear line, An Oblivion Dream, has a strong focus on wearability, while carrying forward the ethos of high-fashion. The designer is famous for his rebellious silhouettes, while his designs help teach us about the need to have a versatile wardrobe. Sarkar’s creations have garnered a fair amount of A-lister attention as well. For instance, you might have spotted Vidya Balan sporting his black organza menswear summer trench on the covers of a glossy magazine, or Saqib Saleem wearing a fantastic monochrome pinstripe pantsuit on Instagram.
The designer is also known to give androgyny a heady, effortless spin with his distinctive styling. “I think androgyny took birth when street fashion came into the limelight,” explains Sarkar. “We were quite stuck up previously. So, when we talk of liberalisation, I believe it had to come up,” he observes. The designer has been hailed for his efforts to give homegrown crafts a contemporary edge, by featuring them on his modern, urban silhouettes. One look at his flared jamdani weave skirts or feather-weave silk numbers will give you the right picture.
The designer founded his eponymous label in 2011, and has since carved an exclusive niche in his design synthesis of ethnic elements and global experimentation. “My jamdani weaves are one-of-a-kind, and I make them myself. People do want to splurge on exclusive weaves, which is why they keep coming back,” Sarkar points out. His newest collection, An Oblivion Dream, features an incredibly accommodating and relaxed lineup, and even garnered rave reviews at the Lakmé India Fashion Week, earlier this February. We found some chic Instagram-worthy pieces like anti-fit tops, monochrome kaftans, baggy trousers, and sheer organza woven jumpsuits. The designer tells us that his new collection is actually a depiction of how we dream.
“This collection is about the translucent mismatch between reality and dream. There are so many psychological principles about what reality really is. An Oblivion Dream speaks about the layers between the two; if you see the handloom fabrics I’ve used, you’ll see that there are broken, textured lines, which depict this dilemma. I’ve focused on summer silhouettes, which can also do very well as a part of a street-style wardrobe. I’ve used silk organza, but most of the numbers are in cotton. We also use certain metallic fabrics, made by mixing zari and khadi,” he says.
The collection features draped pants, sheer organza shirts, harem pants, crop tops and layered tops; basically, it’s your ideal resort wear/street lineup. Some of our favourite numbers were quirky ruffled skirts, bat-sleeved tops, and boxy monochromatic jumpsuits — all featuring breathable silhouettes. “Resort wear is all about comfort; versatile, low-maintenance numbers that are easy to pack, and of course, stylish and relevant. For summers, I do a lot of layering and interesting drapes. This collection, for instance, features handloom organza, and handloom stripes — my stripes did exceptionally well this time. We’re making handloom a part of the global fashion narrative,” the designer remarks.
Sarkar tells us that his oeuvre has always been about bringing together the new and the old, something that millennial crowds respond to strongly. “Anyone can slip into these pieces, irrespective of their body type. New-age kids want to experiment with silhouettes, and not be stuck on regularity. This collection will appeal to a younger crowd because of its edge, easy wearability and individualistic relevance,” offers the designer.
Sarkar’s menswear creations resonate strongly within the showbiz circuit, and the designer believes that’s because his designs are suave, but not cliched or tired. So, you’ll find basic solid-coloured kurtas with band collars, asymmetrical blazers, flared shorts, and striped trousers as well. Chances are, you’ll find Sarkar’s new collection to be quite economical for your budget too. “My prices are affordable, as I’ve always believed in having a wider spread of clients,” he adds.
Prices on request. At 42A, Rash Behari Ave, Anami Sangha, Sahanagar, Kalighat, Kolkata.