It is long that we have been pondering about the number of women, and men, who have and still are, veering away from the beaten track of their conventional educational or professional background and trying their hands at something completely different. And not only something different, let me rephrase that… doing that something different brilliantly.
Maybe it is because we, the bloggers of this blog, Purba, Samhita and I too have come from different educational and professional backgrounds and have chosen to do something different, that the idea of starting a project – #AndThatHasMadeAllTheDifference, stuck in our head and kept growing.
We looked around and trust me there are so many of them! I personally know and admire quite a few and some are good friends too. I feel their choices have had some kind of influence in making what I am, or we are, today.
Amongst the people I know, some are well known, some not so much, in the conventional sense. But all are absolute Champions and Divas in their own rights – carving a niche for themselves with the work that they are doing; and we would like to keep talking about them… If you can tolerate our blabbering, then say once a month!
Presenting Suchismita DasGupta
For the first episode of this very cherished series, one sunny afternoon, we dropped in to have a tete-a-tete with the renowned designer Suchismita DasGupta of Nextiles, planning to find out the Why and How and What of her celebrated work.
Suchismita Dasgupta is one name which finds oft reverential mention in the T2 pages and is associated with films like Koyekti Meyer Golpo, Parineeta, Kahaani, Kadambari, Rang Milanti, Laptop and innumerable styling assignments such as the Indian Roots … Winner of Best Costume Director in the Madrid Film Festival, having worked with DKNY, Armani, Sonia Rykiel, Kenzo… the list is long. I didn’t know her earlier and never did I think that I would know her too, as the glamour industry was not my forte and neither was I couture and label wearing working HR professional. Let me admit here that star-and-beauty-struck “me” had sent her a friend request which had remained unaccepted once!!!
To cut the long sad saga of my FB unacceptance short, let’s just say finally we became acquainted and gradually warmed into a semblance of friendship which would culminate into lazy lunches, loads of baje-boka, PNPC (for the uninitiated – it is having a lengthy and critical discourse on someone else. Period. Pause).
We started off by wanting to know the typical question, that coming from a family where education was given prime importance, how did she jump into the glamorous world of style and fashion?
Having graduated in Commerce, Suchismita did go on to clear Inter in Costing and a group in Chartered Accountancy, before persuading her father to let her pursue a Diploma in commercial arts from BILAMS. It was followed by one from the Clarion College of Communication in Advertising. Couple of agencies later, she realized this was not what she wanted to do and where she wanted to be. The last nail in the coffin in this sojourn was when she outdid everyone and her work as the Trainee Visualizer was accepted by the client leaving aside top guns. Things became a little difficult. She was only 23 and couldn’t take it anymore.
Suchismita left the agency and on that very day joined CINI ASHA. That was the start of her journey as a merchandiser and designer, where in her leisure, or whatever little she had of it, she was sketching and thinking up clothes, clothes and more clothes. She also started working with Tomorrow’s Foundation which gave her the wings to soar and was an enriching and a fulfilling experience.
Suchismita, after 4 and half years realized that what she really wanted was to start her own line. Solo. She took the plunge and founded Nextiles in 2004 and the rest, as they say, is history – albeit with a lot of blood, sweat and back-breaking hard work.
That’s the story in gist of the grit of Suchismita Dasgupta, renowned for her sense of sensual aesthetics and penchant for working with lesser used fabrics. Who, from accounting and finance, went to visualizing in the Advertising world, until finally one day she realized that her true calling lay in creating sensuous drapes and fitted bespoke clothes for stars, and lesser known mortals like us too!
Pujo Styles Decoded
While talking about her journey so far, we couldn’t pass by this opportunity of seeking some tips about the upcoming trends this Pujo. To Suchismita, Pujo is all about sticking to tradition and being conventional in outlook. According to her, the fluid grace of the six yards is THE go-to apparel during Pujo. The look and feel and drape of that saree can be tweaked. One can drape the saree differently than the usual way, or the quintessential blouses can be exchanged with a body hugging top, cropped tops or fitted shirts for that matter.
Her favourite textures to work in are linen, noil and cotton. In fact she had started with Linens and Noils when there were just limited numbers of people working with those medium. Her love for linen is well known and as an anecdote the eminent Make Up artist Aniruddha Chakladar had once famously mentioned that her “nyata” sarees or rags, when draped around, completely transforms the looks! It would not be out of place to mention that her aesthetically acclaimed designs are often plagiarised.
Apart from the quintessential choices of red, black and white what are the colours she feels are trending this season? Pat comes the reply that lime green and yellow were definitely in… not the neon versions, but a bit watered down yet bright colours such as green, fuchsia pink, blue are definitely hues to look forward to during the Pujo this year.
Quick Q&A with Suchismita
Birthday – 25th April
Sun Sign – Taurus
Favourite Colours – Keeps Changing, still Black-White-Red
What was she humming the whole day? – Tere Bina Beswadi Ratiya – from Guru. (I of course asked if the good Dr wasn’t around!)
That was, ladies and gentlemen – Suchismita Dasgupta of Nextiles – She chose to be different and did things differently on her own. She chose the road less travelled #AndThatHasMadeAllTheDifference!
Tell us about someone you know who walked a different path….
Love and Light
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