Neelay Sengupta, the designer who was inspired by the traditions and styles taken up by the Tagore family of Bengal, launched his exclusive collection titled ‘Thakur Barir Saaj Poshak’ recently. Glamorous Actresses Devlina Kumar, Sayantani Guha Thakurata, Sushmita Pal showcased the collection along with Mr. Neelay Sengupta.
Well Known Dansuese & social activist Alokananda Roy, Veteran Odissi Dance Exponent Sutapa Talukdar, Famous Theatre Personality Usha Ganguly, Popular Actor Debsankar Halder, Eminent Dancer & Choreographer Sudarshan Chakraborty along with Gouri Basu, Director of EZCC, Debasish Kumar, Mayor in Council, Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The lineup has predominantly been inspired by the Tagore family’s style of dressing over the years. Also known as Thakur Barir Saaj Poshak, the silhouettes are be a blend of the old style Indian dressing and the revolutionized styles adopted in the 19th and 20th century, with a subtle touch of the Western culture. The outfits have been meticulously designed for men and women and are primarily made of khadi. The benarasi zari work, crotia work, embroidery and kantha work has been used to showcase Thakur Barir Saaj Poshak and its rich culture and heritage. The colour scheme is very earthy and the range of the collection is between 3,000 INR to 8,000 INR.
Rabindranath Tagore’s father, Maharshi used to design clothes for the girls of the family, which were inspired by the West and had a hint of the Muslim elegant styles too. Taking after his father, Tagore was a trend setter too. As we all recognise him as the man who drapes a white cloth, he was originally inspired to wear the ensemble that way by the Japanese who wore kimonos. The Tagore women loved different styles of different countries and wanted to blend them all and come up with something graceful. Presently, the way the women of Bengal carry the sari in with the shoulder drape and pleats had been created after the trial and error method used by the Tagore women. Jyotirindranath Tagore, Tagore’s brother also seems to be interested in designing just like his father. He made quite a few experiments, most of which turned out to be cumbersome or disastrous.
Speaking on the occasion, Neelay Sengupta said, “I developed an interest for indigenous fashions and aesthetics at a very early age and with each passing day, I am discovering something new about the art. The art of designing is such that one can never stop learning, transforming and evolving. Additionally, the attire of the people of Bengal has revolutionised drastically over the years. It all began with the Tagores initiating to drape ensembles differently which influenced and drove Bengal’s fashion in a progressive and aesthetic direction.”
With the idea of keeping the younger generations in touch with Bengal’s roots and to educate them about the culture and previous generations’ style, Neelay has introduced the line up and wished for the coming generations to take these styles forward.
About Neelay Sengupta: Neelay Sengupta was born and brought up in a traditional Bengali family of North Kolkata. A graduate from Scottish Church college of Kolkata, Neelay started his career as an odissi classical dancer under Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Smt. Sharmila Biswas. His keen interests in the rich culture and textiles of Bengal from a very young age help to develop his sense of indigenous fashions and aesthetics. He started designing costumes for classical dance programmes and theatre shows along with choreography. Mr. Sengupta has worked as the costume designer with the legends of Indian classical dance, theatre and noted film maker of post modern era Late Sri. Rituparno Ghosh, Padma Bhushan Smt. Sonal Mansingh, Padma Shri Smt. Madhvi Mudgal, Smt. Chetna Jalan, Smt. Sharmila Biswas (Sangeet natak akademi awardee), Smt. Anita Ratnam(Sangeet natak akademi awardee), Late Sri. Shyamananda Jalan (Sangeet natak akademi awardee), Smt. Usha Ganguly (Sangeet natak akademi awardee), Sri. Debsankar Halder (Sangeet natak akademi awardee) and Sayed Jamil Ahmed (Bangladesh) Neelay’s association with the West Bengal khadi and village industries board began 2016. A culmination of his keen desire to work with the weavers from the grassroots level, he introduced the weavers with his meticulous idea of combining the traditional Indian heritage with contemporary style. Neelay has used Khadi the traditional fabric of the state to create western and indo western outfits using embroidery, block print, vegetable dye and many other embellishments. Presently he is working as the weaving development designer of the West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board. Neelay is proud of his cultural roots and wants to carry the legacy of Indian fabrics and the traditional fashion forward with a contemporary touch, he wants to revive a very specialized hand span, hand woven fabric for which India has always been famous ‘The Muslin’.