Designer Sonam Dubal’s latest edit, Golden Threads, is a great winter line

The collection is contemporary that includes brocade dresses, interesting jackets and bright coloured coats
Ensembles from the  collection
Ensembles from the collection

As a silent child, much like the boy from Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman), Sonam Dubal found his voice between nature amongst the flowers that circled his favourite Koi pond in the garden that had both golden and silver carp with buzzing iridescent dragon flies that watched him as he read his book lying on the grass.

Growing up amongst the verdant tea estates that bordered forests around Assam and the Dooars, and then living by the Teesta river in Rangpo, Sikkim infused in Sonam a natural love for the sounds of nature. This orchestra of sounds with the maze of colorings stayed within him as he started his real journey into the city first through college in Kolkata and then New Delhi when he joined NIFT, finishing in 1990.

“There was a pause, as  I ran away to Paris as soon as I finished working with the great vanguard of Indian fashion, Rohit Khosla,” Sonam begins to tell us. “I was searching for myself, evolving organically a language of design, learning the art of textiles, working with crafts, styling and understanding the deeper stories of indigenous textiles and weaving,” he adds.

Sonam confesses that his design work is the result of coming to terms with his mixed cultural heritage added with his openness to people and observing everything around. “The changes around allowed me space to find a voice, a signature style of blending both Indian and Tibetan / Sikkimese styling through my Indo Asian shapes, yet assimilating the essence of the most sustainable North Eastern textile mainly Eri silk with vintage Benaras brocades and upcycled Ikat silks with velvet embroideries,” he shares.

Sonam launched his signature line Sanskar in 1999. His label is a vanguard experiment in revitalising and redefining traditional Indo-Asian silhouettes with sensitivity, a guiding principle and foundation for the evolving collections that blend cultures; recreating stories from the past into the future.

His label has been endorsed by many  patrons including documentary filmmaker Leslie Cockburn, philanthropist and model Nena Thurman, and Natascha Weir. Closer home, film director Shonali Bose, actors Konkona Sen, Tabu, Manisha Koirala, Malavika Tiwari and Vidya Balan have adorned his creations. To add to his achievements, Sonam has recently been awarded Forces of Fashion by a popular magazine for his incredible contribution to the Indian fashion industry.

Sonam’s latest winter/festive collection Golden Threads is an evolution of the signature line. “It’s a little more contemporary because I have added brocade dresses, interesting jackets and bright coloured coats. The collection is basically about embroidery, craftwork and sustainable ecological friendly textiles,” the designer says, adding, “It is inspired by thread work, painted flowers and colours of the Koi pond. Based on fantasy and artistic old world charm, this collection revisits travel and the beauty of painted flowers depicted through embroidery and canvas.”

For this collection, Sonam has used jewel tones, ranging from midnight blue to wine maroons, emerald greens mixed with tonalities of black in velvet, silk and textured Eri silk with gold thread embroidery. 

Sonam says Chennai holds a special place for him. “This city has been a very important market for me. I love the clientele; also, the response to my collections has been very positive through the years. The patrons have great taste and aesthetics, and Amethyst houses collections beautifully, which makes a lot of difference.”

For Sonam, winter works out very well to launch a collection. “Winter extends to the festive and holiday season with Christmas and New Year. And since, my.collection is all about vintage, old world but styled more contemporary, it is best for this season. One can look forward to short dresses, single sleeve shoulder dresses with brocade and layered that can be mixed and matched. Then there are coats, jackets and easy tunis in print and tie-dyes in muted tones in loose anti-fit style. The collection is best suited for evenings, cocktails, parties, festivals, and also for travellers,” he tells us.

Sonam has already started working on his next edit and shares, “We are focusing on a line of natural dyed textiles from the North East mainly Eri silk in vegetable dyed colours of pink, turmeric and Indigo. This collection is based on weave, texture embroidery and tonal prints for the coming spring summer between the forests.”

Price starts at Rs 8,000.
December 15 to 25, 11 am to 7.30 pm. 
At Amethyst, Royapettah.

X: @rupsjain

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