Back in 2019, H&M announced its very first collaboration with an Indian designer. The International fashion giant was looking for someone who shared their values for fashion and sartorial creations. Not too surprisingly, they found the perfect match in master couturier Sabyasachi Mukherjee and then his very first pret collection, Wanderlust was born. Big things were into making and as they say–no good things come easy. The coronavirus pandemic struck right before the brand was about to take the collection live in March 2020. It was ready to be launched. However, they had to put a pause on it all.
A year-and-a-half later we finally have a new release date. However, one can’t help but wonder–will it survive the test of time given that the collection is being launched almost three seasons after its anticipated date? Both Sabyasachi and Maria Gemzell, Head of New Development, H&M remain unperplexed while helping us with an answer. That’s how sure they are of the collection’ss timeless value. In fact, according to Sabyasachi, Wanderlust has aged like fine wine and is all the more relevant now.
In a conversation with POPxo earlier today, the designer talked about the timeless quality of the collection and how it serves his purpose of “pushing the Indian narrative all across the globe.” Keeping up with the easy-going, travel vibe, the collection comprises chic separates instead of head-to-toe ensembles. Almost everything comes in a breezy silhouette, versatile and gender fluid. Wanderlust encapsulates the spirit of India in the most modern way.
“We created it while singing and dancing and eating. It felt like a picnic,” says Sabyasachi. The collection exudes exactly that exuberance and frolic. Here is everything about the collection that has us really really excited:
Sabyasachi the brand is synonymous with fashion in India. However, the couture label isn’t really affordable. The Wanderlust collection is everyone’s chance of actually owning a Sabyasachi. It would retail at a price range of Rs. 999-9999 and the designer has ensured that the essence of his brand remains intact along with the affordability factor. “Wanderlust was like transferring a great perfume from one bottle to another. The spirit of Sabyasachi’s world is intact in the collection,” he shares.
Each of H & M’s iconic collaborations has been launched with a statement T-shirt but to the Indian fashion girl, this would be the most exciting one to date. We say this sans an iota of exaggeration. It is a Bengal Tiger logo T-shirt that is Sabyasachi’s favourite pick from the entire collection and our guess is that it is going to fly off the shelves. “Every year we sell about 6-7 thousand logo belts. It is copied everywhere. Go to Sarojini and you’ll find a copy of the Sabyasachi belt right with Gucci and Chanel rip-offs. With this T-shirt, we want everybody to have an authentic Sabyasachi logo,” says the designer.
He further adds, “For a designer, if I were to go out shopping one day at a mall and see, say, a 100 people wearing this T-shirt, it would just make me so happy. With this collaboration, I wanted to create an iconic product that is really wearable and represents the language of young people. This t-shirt signifies just that. This is my personal dream so go and shop for the Bengal tiger T-shirt.”
When it comes to Indian fashion, the saree happens to be the most globally accepted and revered garment. A Sabyasachi saree is a dream that currently feels approachable all thanks to the H&M X Sabyasachi saree that will soon hit the store. It is a limited edition design that is only going to retail exclusively in India. The designer has tried to channelise the spirit of the global nomad through the saree as well.
Sabyasachi shares that while conceptualising the designs he had his apprehensions and was mostly skeptical if H&M would agree to the idea. To his surprise, the brand readily agreed. However, there was a small challenge. While H&M was all in for the saree, they were clueless about the blouse and petticoat. “None of that was required though. I said just buy a Sabysa saree, layer in with a pair of pajamas, and a Bengal tiger logo T-shirt. Add a fanny bag and you are all set.” Done in a soothing palette, this is a limited edition design that you need in your saree collection. The body of the saree is done in exquisite Sanganeri print and the Pallu is like the Panorama of India, presented to you through Sabyasachi’s eyes.
The Wanderlust collection features a lot of firsts for the designer and denim is also part of the list. It is for the very first time that Sabyasachi has designed jeans and believes that it is going to be an investment piece. “Denim is a very cosmopolitan, very inclusive, very democratic piece of clothing. I wanted to create something very relaxed, something that feels like pajamas. It sits on the hip bone and is very relaxed, very grungy,” he shares.
From the prints to the embroidery, every single detail in the collection has been digitized after a handmade prototype so as to retain their premium appeal. The embroidery features inflections of Kashmiri, Marori and Phulkari handwork among others. As for the prints, embrace yourself for full-blown Sabya glamm along with signature florals, Chintz, Kalamkari, and Sanganeri designs.
Not just apparel but the Wanderlust collection also features versatile and stackable jewellery pieces, footwear, sunglasses, and bags. Everything is gender fluid, carries the trademark Sabyasachi logo and looks like an Indian fashion enthusiast’s dream come true.
The Sabyasachi x H&M collection will offer a complete fashion wardrobe for both women and men, including long flowy dresses, tunics, blouses, breezy shirts, wide pants and more. The boho street-chic vibe is the reigning aesthetic and the idea is to push fashionable separates that can be worn anytime anywhere. They are relaxed, versatile, and very inclusive. “Everyone can borrow from everyone. You can mix and match and be as creative as you want to be with this collection,” concludes Sabyasachi.
The collection will be available on 12th August 2021, 11:00 am onwards at select H&M stores in India. It will also be available on HM.com and Myntra. The cities where the collection is available in India include Delhi, Ahmedabad, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mohali, Chennai, Hyderabad, Noida and Lucknow. The collection will also be available on hm.com worldwide and at selected H&M flagship stores around the world.
Featured Image Courtesy: H & M