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Sabyasachi Mukherjee: 'The essence of luxury also needs to be dynamic for it to remain relevant'

The consumption patterns for luxury in India are in the middle of significant evolution. Outlook Splurge spoke to ace designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee to discover luxury’s ever-changing definition.

What does luxury mean to you?
Time, or the essence of time.

Has the connotation of luxury changed now from what it was five years ago?
Society is dynamic, so the essence of luxury also needs to be dynamic for it to remain relevant. So if anything in the world becomes abundant, then the opposite of it is perceived as a luxury. For instance, when the cell phone first arrived, owning a cell phone was considered a luxury. Now it has become a necessity while taking time off from the digital world has become a luxury for many.

What are the factors thathave fuelled this change?
Rapid development and the invasion of technology.

How do you think the conceptof luxury will evolve in the next five years?
Luxury is moving away from material things into being defined by real-time experiences.While previously, luxury was a combination of tangibles and intangibles, in the next five years, there will a gradual shift more towards the intangibles rather than the tangibles.

What’s the most luxurious holiday you’ve ever been to?
Honestly, the most luxurious holiday for me has been lazing around in the garden at my home in Kolkata because I never get time off to spend in my house.

What has been your most indulgent dining-out experience?
I have created a very beautiful stone table under an overgrown canopy of banana and neem trees. My Art Foundation has created beautiful hand-painted lampshades that hang from the trees and eating rice, daal and some smoked fish in the candlelight on a winter evening is perhaps the most evocative dining experience I have ever had.

What is the one aspect of your city that epitomises luxury for you?
I like the fact that Kolkata is slow to change. While there is rapid industrialisation and development in all other cities, Kolkata’s so-called ‘backwardness’ is what actually makes it progressive and luxurious.

What has been the most luxurious possession you’ve received?
I don’t really allow people to give me gifts so I bought myself a Pashmina shawl which is something I wear every time Itake a flight. I have used it somany times and because I am a creature of habit, it has almost become a part of my identity.

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