Saroj Jalan’s latest collection Bulbul is imbued with the spirit of self-discovery, empowerment, and liberation.
Renowned for its ability to infuse Indian craft into opulent designs, couturier Saroj Jalan’s eponymous brand has made an indelible mark on the Indian fashion landscape, captivating both the discerning Indian fashion market and a constellation of celebrity clientele. Capturing the essence of timeless elegance, Saroj Jalan designs are versatile and exquisite enough to transcend people, places, and occasions.
In the latest collection ‘Bulbul’, the designer artfully weaves together threads of her childhood memories, creating a festive/bridal edit that leaves an enduring impression with its ethereal designs. It's not merely a collection; it's a voyage through Saroj Jalan's life, a tapestry of emotions and experiences expressed through fabric and form.
Describing the edit’s essence, the designer says, “Bulbul is an expression, a foliage of stories budding from my childhood in Natore, Bangladesh to till date thriving in Kolkata, India. It is a tale in transition, a voyage on an endless path of discoveries and rediscoveries. It is about losses and findings, it is about collectibles, and reminiscing. It is a jubilee of celebration of emotions of each milestone, in brief, it is a celebration of self-liberty.”
The inspiration behind Bulbul stems from the free-spirited nature of the bulbul bird, which epitomizes freedom and confidence as it gracefully soars through the skies. Drawing from this essence, the designer aims to empower women to express themselves freely and embrace their inner ‘bulbul.’ She articulates her vision by saying, “My collection aims to achieve just that, to give them freedom of expression of their confidence, vigour, and beauty.”
At the heart of Bulbul lies a profound philosophy about choices and their profound impact on our lives. Saroj Jalan reflects on the core theme of the collection, saying, “We make about 35,000 choices a day. From what we are going to have for breakfast to what time we are planning on waking up the following day. The accumulation of these choices has a huge impact on our mental health, thus the quality of life. No matter how big or small; every choice matters. One choice, conscious to some yet unconscious to others, is our fashion choice. I wanted Bulbul to be one such choice, which is an outward form of self-identity, self-discovery. Through Bulbul I wanted to send a message to my customers to start valuing everything that makes them who they are… to be the wind beneath their wings.”
The name ‘Bulbul’ is deeply intertwined with Saroj Jalan's connection to her roots and her nation. It resonates with the eternal struggle for freedom and self-expression. “Saare jahaan se acha, Hindustaan humara, Hum bulbule hai iski, ye gulistaan humara… Bulbuls’ connection to me, in fact, with the nation runs deep, with several writers mentioning them in literature throughout different eras. Our national song even personifies them, symbolizing the country’s eternal struggle for freedom and how could it be any different in expressing my freedom of thoughts,” says the designer who is a favourite among celebrities like Malavika Mohanan, Taapsee Pannu, Amrita Rao, Genelia Deshmukh, Karishma Tanna, Sania Mirza and many others.
Saroj Jalan's journey as a designer has been remarkable. Hailing from Bangladesh and weaving her roots into Kolkata's fashion tapestry, she has become one of the leading bridal-wear fashion designers. Her eponymous brand, launched in 2004, is not just about creating stunning outfits but also about empowering Indian artisans and women by providing livelihood opportunities and valuable skill training. Saroj Jalan’s commitment to reviving local craftsmanship has been a defining feature of her brand's ethos. The brand has charted a remarkable course, from the runways of prestigious fashion weeks to winning the admiration and loyalty of her customers.
One iconic moment that etched Saroj Jalan’s name in the fashion annals was during Lakme Fashion Week in 2019. Here, the designer left an indelible mark when the celebrated actress Genelia Deshmukh graced the runway wearing a bridal lehenga paired with boots, instantly becoming a style icon for brides-to-be, and setting a trend that reverberated throughout the bridal fashion world.
The brand ‘Saroj Jalan’ aims at uplifting Indian artisans by designing collections in which today’s modern Indian bride can create beautiful memories for themselves and the people. Hence, it is no surprise that craftsmanship takes centre stage in Bulbul. “We at Saroj Jalan only deal in hand-embroidered garments, and we take pride in our craftsmanship and the exquisite zardozi embroidery we use on our ensembles. We have dealt with fabrics like silks, organza and georgettes in our garments and teamed them with rich handloom fabrics like paithani and patola as well,” explains Saroj Jalan.
What sets Bulbul apart from Saroj Jalan's previous creations is its focus on liberation. The silhouettes and embroidery are a testament to this theme. The collection offers different drapes, silhouettes, and structures, defining the confident and beautiful Saroj Jalan Bride. The collection is designed to encourage women to embrace their true selves and make a fashion statement that reflects their individuality.
For those curious about the price range, Bulbul caters to a wide audience, with pieces ranging from INR 70,000 to INR 150,000. One can find these exquisite creations at Saroj Jalan's flagship store in Kolkata or connect with them through their social media platforms.
In the world of fashion, where each piece tells a story, Bulbul stands as a celebration of choices, self-discovery, and the liberation that comes from embracing one's true self. It's a collection that invites all age groups to appreciate the journey of life through the lens of fashion. As Saroj Jalan aptly puts it, “My collection is for all age groups, and I would want everyone to love it as much as I did while making it.”