The Gothic Indian Bate

When two apparently polar concepts unite in a creation, we get an innovative masterpiece. Sabyasachi synthesized his collection ‘Bater‘ for the Amazon India Couture Week 2015, with the principles of Gothic infused into contemporary Indian Ethnic Wear.

A word cloud like this would have never been used to describe a traditional Indian Collection, especially one that had hints of bridal wear. Every piece of the collection does justice to every word in here.


‘The amalgamation of virile strength with the fragile’, defined the design principle used in the collection. The word ‘Bater’, derived from ‘bate’ has varying meanings all centered on restrain and anger – it refers to a hawk flapping its wings in anger or fear, while also meaning a restraining effect. Interesting to see words transform into dresses. Talking about the collection himself, Sabyasachi explains it to be reminiscent of royal hunting and birds of prey.

Coming to the technical details, the collection that unraveled itself in the backdrop of a haunted mansion, saw a display of fabrics in mesmerizing textures. Sequins, beads and embellishments were crafted together using traditional Indian craftsmanship techniques, but in a contemporary format that described the core principles of dark, dangerous and predatory; and all this on Indian silhouettes with a contemporary touch as well.

A black feathered shrug swung halfway across one shoulder over a richly embellished transparent fabric.
Sabyasachi’s signature ‘Chottu Saree’
Bikini Choli with a long black beaded jacket
Indian techniques create a Gothic ‘fish scales’ look on a fabric that parts ways in a slit to reveal cigarette pants, and of course the red soled Louboutin’s.
Attire befit of royalty
The collection graduates towards the classic Louboutin red towards the end of the show
The collection graduates towards the classic Louboutin red towards the end of the show

It is interesting to note that all of the fabric has been embroidered or embellished, including the lining. This is a true characteristic of couture – detail to every single element that goes into a dress.

Sabyasachi Embelishments

The collaboration with Christian Louboutin brought together French mastery and Indian craftsmanship. This was the part that I was most excited about! To see those red soles with Indian baroque embroidery, was like seeing red city lights on a dark rainy night. The darkness and rain feel beautiful and calming while the red lights give you a sense of power. It was beautiful. The men’s shoes appealed more to me, with the wooden flaky texture. The women’s shoes had floral embroidery and spikes that hinted towards fragility and bondage.

shoes 1

shoes sabyasachi
Sabyasachi x Louboutin – India meets Paris

The accessories were in character with a couture collection as well. What caught my eye was the veritable golden tiger – the Sabyasachi Logo that was used on the clutches, that indeed gave them a regal look. They were no ordinary clutches; complete with spikes and studs, they were like adjectives to the collection.

accessory sabyasachi
Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but spikes and studs excite me

Some of the critics said the lighting was too low, and that the pieces were not very innovative. But I believe translating your collection principles into an atmosphere is something not many designers have been able to achieve. Even if they do, they have always tried to be safe and not do something out of the normal. It is the ability to do this as well in your show, that factors into how good a collection is. I personally had never imagined the union of Gothic and traditional Indian techniques.

Sabyasachi and Louboutin close the show

Sabyasachi, you created magic for me that day. The dark, sexual tones accompanied by power and maliciousness created an absolute heaven for me. Writing  about the collection in itself was blissful, and took me to another place.

Image Sources: Sabyasachi Page, FDCI Page


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