Nostalgia is an easy sell. Connect that with the always-successful ‘Sabyasachi’ brand and you have a box office hit. For fall-winter 2015, Sabyasachi decided to refer to his youth lusts. Picture Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi dressed by Sabyasachi in their heyday. Not attending the show and commenting purely from a bystander’s viewpoint, was compelled to write about what I saw from the runway images online & on reading reviews that say Sabyasachi is going sexy and entering a different realm. Though I agree this is different from his recent shows, the woman is the same. She is forging ahead with the times. The last show I attended of his, I remember women covered till neck, in a demure and mysterious get up, stacked with regal strands of diamonds and jewels, wearing intellectual spectacle frames. Not talking about the delicious handwork, colors and prints, this is a comment purely on the kind of girl Sabyasachi portrays for his shows. A friend had once commented how models in his couture show seem suppressed and not the one holding the megaphone. These were women who were silent catalysts in a household or workplace. To me, Sabyasachi’s strength is in pioneering a cultural movement, showing path to others. He is clear what works for his women. And these are almost ALL the women we know. There is a wave of restlessness over gender disparity and inequality today. It was the documentary India’s Daughter, which so honestly put forth a divided stance on how we view women in our society. When the rapists’ defense lawyers loudly exclaimed how the woman is equally to be blamed for a rape, or how women should be like gentle flowers kept away from the street dogs. These irksome remarks will compel the influencers to respond. Enter the ‘new’ woman of Sabyasachi. She is blatant with her dressing, and not apologetic. She shuns any labels that society might put on her for dressing a certain way. She will show skin, she will wear glitter. She will wear fabrics that sit easy on her body and don’t restrict her movement. No tight long skirts to keep the legs together. No yards of heavily embroidered sari that require slow movements unless you want the garment untied onto the floor. Keyhole neckline that comfortably lets you dance till wee hours minus wardrobe malfunctions. She still has the silent, demure outlook but a completely unabashed way of dressing. Her demure past is reflected in her unflinching facial expression and flat hair. She is forward yet reflecting glory days of the 70s. A time when our parents’ road tripped to fun places together wearing big sunglasses and high waist bell-bottoms. Yup, the same parents that call you every five minutes today to check on you on a late night out with friends. Those were times when you spoke out loud and clear of your liberal stance with the choices in clothing, music and movies. This show brings back certain memories but adapts to the current wave of change. I did sense a poke towards men in this show covered up even more than before with bandhgalas and scarves closing off any breathing space. Definitely not made for the boogie dancing. Perhaps the Sabyasachi man is now the one who stays home, reading a good book with a glass of scotch.