It’s not surprising that beautiful things come from loving hands – I held my breath for almost the entire Sanskar show of Sonam Dubal’s, one cascading wrap after another walking serenely down the runway.
While my own style tends to be apprehensive about the mixing of various prints, my imagination pre-emptively prepared for what might appear out of the mind of a New Delhi-based designer: hustle, colour, and cacophony of ideas. Dubal’s designs were more subdued than I anticipated, more calm – a melding of traditional Chinese qipao elements and flowing saris, and definitely more effortless than either. And while not every woman can incorporate a Mandarin-style jacket into their wardrobe, everyone would gleefully find a place for one of his wraps. Alas, for a Canadian, they are not easily available, mostly housed in Tokyo boutiques and beyond. *Update: Sonam Dubal’s gorgeous creations can now be found on Bowen Island, a quick ferry ride away from Vancouver, BC. The boutique that houses his designs can be found at Maison Sanksar.
Behind the beauty is the method of recycling natural fabrics like silks and linens from old saris, and the use of hand-woven raw silks – Dubal’s approach to the use of recycling fabric is touched on in “Recycling Indian Clothing: Global Context of Reuse and Value”, by Lucy Norris. The Buddhist philosophy of reincarnation and connection to the past are seamlessly incorporated into Dubal’s designs through this natural culture of fabric recycling that he is a part of. Hopefully, his approach catches on with the rest of us.
Images by Peter Jensen