Sanskar by Sonam Dubal

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A Gift that Gives , Collaborative initiative with Maitri, Vrindavan , 2020 With the advent of Covid-19 and the uncertainity it brought with it, Sanskar as a label was determined to work on a plan to keep it’s artisan family meaningfully employed. A state of lockdown in the country resulted in a reduced supply of raw materials and access to international buyers. Seeking inspiration in this situation our head designer, Sonam Dubal decided to use the fabrics from our latest collection to create a unique line of individually designed unisex shawls. Signature fabrics, comprising of vibrant hand woven ikat silks from Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in Eastern India, were tailored together by the Widows of Vrindavan to form one side of the shawl. The reverse side showcasing a brocade vintage sari border on Kashmiri wool completes the piece. Each piece features the name of the widow who has tailored the shawl and a donation is made to Maitri - a governing non profit organization overseeing the well being of the widows, on behalf of each purchase made by the conscious consumer.
Special Projects

#Celebrating The Maker , Fashion Design Council of India , 2020 #CelebratingTheMaker is an initiative by the Fashion Design Council of India, to digitally step into designer studios and understand their process and meet the makers of ‘Made in India’. It celebrates the process of craft and handloom by highlighting the key stakeholders - the artisanal community who work relentlessly behind the scenes. ‘ At Sanskar, we believe in producing locally to show globally. Our collections are a combination of sustainable techniques and artisanal work. The team at Sanskar by Sonam Dubal has been working together with our family of artisans -tailors, embroiderers, dyers, printers, and craft communities for almost 20 years. The idea behind Sanskar is to work as a team - as a guild of artisans and artists.’ - Sonam Dubal
Tsutra , Collaboration with Sasha , West Bengal Video Courtesy : FDCI Photograph by Prateek Dubey Tsutra is a collaborative effort of Sanskar with Sasha, a craft based NGO in West Bengal. The aim of this collaboration is to build a line of affordable contemporary garments for women that have a global styling -as in global and contemporary feel and grassroot understanding being sensitive to hand woven textiles, prints and surface detailing. Sasha is an Indian non-profit organization founded in 1978 by a group of committed people, including the current CEO Roopa Mehta, led by the late Subhashini Kohli or ‘Shabbi’ to address livelihood issues of artisan communities. This collaboration between Sanskar and Sasha coincided with Dubal’s tenth year of work with his fashion label, when he felt a natural inclination to work on a line that was communicative with concepts of preservation of crafts and recycling in textiles.
Tsutra absorbing the Buddhist text meaning a ‘thread’ or ‘line’ that holds things together ties up with craft organizations providing exclusive design and aesthetic input to rework adding value on traditional products giving them a contemporary feel. Tsutra also envisions the buyer as being a part of this social venture so that the buyer also is educate in understanding what one is buying. Hence the process is evolutionary celebrating individual craft with an environmental awareness providing an option to the uniformity forced upon urban life today. Tsutra is an ongoing collaboration between Sanskar and Sasha, celebrating craft and handloom textiles, respecting fair trade values, traditional and modern craft and environment.
Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, Fashion Design Council of India, 2020 Creating a blueprint for the future with homage to the past, the Fashion Design Council of India curated more than 70 designer installations in a museum like showcase for the 15th year of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour which found a place of pride in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. The festival of fashion at Blenders Pride Fashion Tour included segments such as The Collection, The gallery and Style of fashion. An artistic display of 58 iconic pieces was spread over three zones- Craft, Blend & Identity
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Made in South Asia , World Bank X Fashion Design Council of India , 2019 We were honoured to be a part of ‘Made in South Asia’, a noble fashion show organized by the World Bank and The Fashion Design Council of India. This showcase included over 60 ensembles made from local textiles sourced from different parts ofIndia and South Asia by women self help groups working with the World Bank. We had the pleasure of working with woolen shawls from the Barguan district in Bangladesh. Our collection was an amalgamation of the woolen shawls with our signature embroidery and hand block printed pieces. ‘The World Bank has helped organize millions of women into self help groups and provided skill development which is a crucial aspect for growth. The FDCI and our designers are delighted to be Two ensembles from our autumn winter 2019/ 2020 collection - Marco Polo were a part of this multi city tour. supporting this initiative and helping women find fresh avenues. It is through such collaborations across regions and nations, local artisans and crafts people get global exposure.’ - Sunil Sethi, Chairman FDCI
Made in South Asia , World Bank X Fashion Design Council of India , 2019 We were honoured to be a part of ‘Made in South Asia’, a noble fashion show organized by the World Bank and The Fashion Design Council of India. This showcase included over 60 ensembles made from local textiles sourced from different parts ofIndia and South Asia by women self help groups working with the World Bank. We had the pleasure of working with woolen shawls from the Barguan district in Bangladesh. Our collection was an amalgamation of the woolen shawls with our signature embroidery and hand block printed pieces. ‘The World Bank has helped organize millions of women into self help groups and provided skill development which is a crucial aspect for growth. The FDCI and our designers are delighted to be Two ensembles from our autumn winter 2019/ 2020 collection - Marco Polo were a part of this multi city tour. supporting this initiative and helping women find fresh avenues. It is through such collaborations across regions and nations, local artisans and crafts people get global exposure.’ - Sunil Sethi, Chairman FDCI
Majuli, North East Dialogue at Lakme Fashion Week 2018 Textiles are markers of the creative genius of people and a representation of culture, this collection Majuli is celebration of the culture, textiles and the beauty of Assam. Inspired by the large river island in the Brahmaputra, that has served as a cultural capital and cradle of Assamese civilization for the past 500 years, this collection is based on the exquisite handloom produced there especially Eri silk and Muga. 13 Designers, 4 Artisans and 30 models came together to showcase 60 curated looks to celebrate the diversity in textiles across India. Taking inspiration from the dances and the weaves of this incredibly blessed region, this collection is sort of a cultural canvas incorporating Assamese traditional and contemporary textiles and infused them with ikats and prints and hand embroideries creating Indo- Asian shapes that have global appeal. This exquisite collection captures the essence and ethos of the Assamese tapestry.
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Majuli represents the magical flow of the Brahmaputra river and its abundant nature represented through color, pattern and style. Amalgamating craft textiles into contemporary dresses, capes and embroidered jackets this collection creates an interesting harmony in autumn tones of browns and rusts against plainer styles in textures of black in Eri silk and cotton weaves. “With my Buddhist leanings and Assam being my place of birth it seemed natural that I would find this textile through exploration which would become the foundation of my work through the years evoking heritage, history the monks and the Sattriya dancers on the island of Majuli…” - Sonam Dubal Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), IMG Reliance in collaboration with the United Nations in India hosted an action-oriented dialogue on the Northeastern region (NER) followed by a curated show featuring six sustainable fashion designers from the region.
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Fashion in Film - Vidya Balan in Shakuntala Devi One of the most anticipated films to release during the lockdown was the Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi. The film’s costume designer Niharika Bhasin Khan turned to our founder and head designer Sonam Dubal for a particular evening look. Knowing his penchant for vintage style, Niharika shared reference photographs from that era and kicked off the collaborative design process. For this particular look Vidya Balan wore a mirror-worked sari with abstract embroidery on georgette and vintage brocade borders. The ensemble also included a heavily-embroidered sequinned cape inspired by Poiret in the 1930s. The combination of these two signature pieces worked perfectly for the styleenvisioned and the film setting. ‘The sari as an ensemble is the epitome of style and fashion to me. As a part of my collaboration with Niharika , I envisioned a mirror work sari with abstract embroidery that perfectly captured the vintage glamour of the film’ -Sonam Dubal
Fashion in Film - Shut Eye , Hulu Shut Eye is an American drama television series created by Les Bohem, airing on the streaming service Hulu in 2016. Isabella Rossellini plays Rita, a crime boss matriarch dressed in Sanskar’s by Sonam Dubal’s signature coats, capes and kaftans. “I also play Rita with a great warmth. She’s a family woman, taking care of her grandchildren and the family. I think it’s even more devious, the fact that she’s beautifully dressed…” - Isabella Rossellini
Adishakti - Stories in Textile Workshop , Puducherry “It is Adishakti’s way of reaching out and bringing in those seeking excellence in related disciplines, to interact with each other and us,” Veenapani says. After finding his home in Puducherry in 2012, Dubal met Veena Paani Chawla a power house of theatre at Adishakti. He then held his first workshop ‘Stories in Textile’ at the Laboratory for Theatre Arts & Research Adishakti. This workshop delved into the stories of color, weave and embroideries, empowering women and the need to protect and preserve heritage. “ A few years into my preoccupation with redesigning my Bharatanatyam costume , I had the privilege of attending the master class conducted by internationally renowned, revivalist fashion designer, Sonam Dubal. I felt a kinship with Sonam’s rich cultural heritage and childhood. He helped me introspect on all aspects of my costume, challenge traditional norms, understand and express my personal connection to the costume!” So as a first step, I found myself questioning: What is my heritage? Where does the uniqueness of my cultural root lie?” -Ashwini Kaarthikeyan ( poet, artist and Bharatanatyam dancer)
Australian Fashion Week , The Asia Pacific Fashion Week The collection showcased at The Australian Fashion Week drew inspiration from the eclectic encounter between the east and the west during the 1920s and 30s. A decade when art, cinema, design captured the fluidity of a Cultural Renaissance.  This collection blends jewel-rich hues with cool pastels of the ‘30s in colours like coral, café-au-lait, ashes of roses, peach and eau-de-nil with black and crème. For the trans-seasonal Melbourne Australia Fashion Week, held in those magical days between winter and spring, the palette was peach and black with a pinch of blue and gold against a backdrop of black. “As a designer I seek to create a simple language through crafts that speaks of designs that have universal appeal. In doing so not only does this create employment, but also keeps traditional techniques alive, in keeping with the contemporary.” - Sonam Dubal Sonam Dubal was one of three designers who represented India  at The Rosemount  Fashion Week Transeasonal 2007 in Melbourne, Australia.