Sanjukta: Beauty made more visible, and wearable!
Glad2bawoman decided to interview Sanjukta Roy, the imagination behind the innovative clothesline under the label name of Sanjukta. Beatiful dresses made out of materials we generally tend to overlook, Sanjukta has come up to be a label name to watch out for!
1. When and how did Sanjukta Begin?
Sanjukta: The idea of Sanjukta was always there in my life. It existed in the way I am. It made itself visible from 12th July 2012.
The reason for trying to make it visible was because I was desperate to stay in Calcutta and work out something on my own. I had quit the job I had for a grant from the national jute board and when the grant period ended panic buttons were on. I couldn’t invest a huge amount of money, neither did my ego let me borrow money from anyone. So it came down to a project which I had to start with near zero investment. I had a small stock of gamchhas that I had collected over the years and all I needed was a tailor to help me convert them to something else. My regular tailor refused to work on them. After some hunting, a random stroke of luck gave me my present master tailor.
2. Why Gamchhas and Lungis? What’s the story behind choosing such specific materials?
Sanjukta: I have been a person of the street. The pace, people, professions, food, life, colours, products, blending and standing out are so well set in this space. And it belongs to everyone. I knew I had to start something that made me comfortable, that had a part of my identity and would include everybody as well.
Like I wrote I had a small stock of gamchhas with me which I had collected. I didn’t need to go out looking for something else when I had the most extraordinary piece of fabric and colors with me. It set well with my idea of street and the life it held. They were fabrics that people walked past and never bothered about. I wanted them to be noticed. I wanted people to wonder about them and own them. I would also add other fabrics later that people don’t notice. (Can you guess which?)
3. Tell us a little about the different kinds of cuts and styles you experiment with.
Sanjukta: Like I wrote before my idea of this line was about including everyone. Most of my styles are for everyone and all shapes. Many of the styles come in free sizes. Initially this idea was not preplanned but an imposed one. I am not a fashion designer and I don’t know anything about making patterns. I only knew my fabrics. They were cheap and I was offering these openly. I had to plan my cuts carefully such that they needed no patterns. I have started experimenting cuts which are not adjustable but are mostly comfortable since they are supposed to be worn big.
The other thing which I do is, never throw any scraps from my garment production. I convert most of these bits into jewellery (mostly neckpieces and head bands)
4. Who/what are your inspirations with regard to designing.
Sanjukta: As a school girl I would often stand outside this tiny shop in Connaught Place and promise myself things from there when I had enough money. I still love everything they make. The products of People Tree have been a motivation. Its an honour that they stock some of my stuff in their stores The other designer whose ideas I like is Jean Paul Gaultier. Google him and he will reveal himself to you.
5. What were the initial hurdles which you had to face when you started Sanjukta?
Sanjukta: Money was the biggest problem. Then the way I wanted to name and show each product. Also the product concepts were not taken well initially.
6. Do you have any future projects planned out, and if so, may we know a little bit about them?
Sanjukta: Apart from the made for all line I want to experiment with more fitted, textured, worked on garments. These will seek another kind of market. Dig out all kinds of gamchhas traditionally made in India and document them someday, convert terry-towel users to gamchha users.