By Indranil Halder
Many years back, I invited Sourav Ghosh to our Ballygunge residence in Kolkata for lunch. A young man who was keen to develop himself in the fashion world. Today, after working with several brands, Sourav Ghosh is confident that Bengal (West Bengal in India) has become a production hub for major international accessories brands but it has much more to offer. It is amazing to see Sourav Ghosh designing showpiece hand bags as part of his new collection.
Who is Sourav Ghosh ?
In Calcutta, Saurav Ghosh graduated from National Institute of Fashion Institute with ‘Best Designer‘ award. From his childhood he was into arts. Persuaded 8 years of Diploma course in fine arts. He worked with several international brands. In 2021, he started his startup accessories label “SAURAV GHOSH” inspired from his own roots. His goal is to celebrate globally an uniquely styled culture rich heritage of Calcutta city and to pay homage to the Indian artisans.
Not just a showpiece, it’s iconic:
Sourav Ghosh has created a new collection of vintage handbags which represents uniquely styled culture rich heritage of Calcutta. A world full of sophistication, elegance and style. In Sourav’s collection, VICTORIA BAG is a black handbag with detachable handle. Stunning. Elegant. Glamorous. Sitting on a Victorian side table of black wood with marble top, the bag oozes with vintage glamour. Sourav says, “As the name suggests the bag is designed and named after a very popular historical and iconic building in Calcutta, Victoria Memorial Hall.”
He loves the history of Calcutta dotted with mansions and I feel, he had represented Calcutta through his vintage bag collection stupendously. In Sydney, reading acclaimed and award-winning book, The Forgotten Palaces of Calcutta by Joanna Taylor from Sydney University or watching Netflix blockbuster The Crown or attending polo events, a glance at the picture of Sourav’s handbag, tells me that the collection is a true celebration of vintage Calcutta and English heritage with a artistic touch of Bengali sentiment. A mixture of both Indian and British traditions that represents the finest of Common Wealth states.
Well, Calcutta does have it’s fair share of British heritage. During the British Raj the city of Calcutta was the second capital in British Empire and was known as The City of Palaces with many hundreds of palatial mansions or ‘Rajbaris’. In 1831, Robert Burford advertised panorama of Calcutta with Paris, Quebec and Hobart in his London premises. The Sydney Gazette, reported that Prussian born artist and traveller Jacob Janssen exhibited his view of Calcutta in 1841. And in that Calcutta, the magnificent Victoria Memorial Hall building still remains the dazzling jewel in Calcutta’s crown and inspiration for many artists. It was constructed by Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee which got him knighthood from British royals. Being the most illustrious and elaborate architecture, Victoria Memorial Hall is one of the main attraction of the city today. In his design, Sourav portrayed the grandeur, nostalgic and old charm of Calcutta distinctively. VICTORIA BAG is stitched with reflection of the past while keeping an eye on contemporary. Ghosh’s design aesthetics is deeply rooted to his birthplace, which he says, drives his creative mind to design ‘new out of old’. The bag reflects a dazzling glimpse of Calcutta’s opulence that included art, victorian furniture, grand sculptures and Neo Classical architecture.
Myself growing up in Calcutta, I loved visiting Indian Museum, Victoria Memorial Hall, Writers Building, Clive Street Buildings, Governor Palace, Esplanade Mansion, Outram Ghat, Marble Palace and many more mansions of North Calcutta. The city that glaringly represents the Bengali aristocratic society of luxury, British colonial influence and the Indian state of Bengal of her astronomical wealth. During 18th century, zebra drawn cart was one of the famous attraction of Calcutta and it belonged to certain Bengali aristocratic Mullick family. In 1897, the first car was in India. Sourav successfully, portrayed that heritage culture in his iconic VICTORIA BAG design with a golden ‘zebra cart’ emblem on Victoria Memorial Hall imprint on the bag. Simply impressive. A classical touch of sophistication.
Bengal as province was no less than a multicultural country itself, where money was made. For many centuries Bengal had seen an influx of traders of British Chinese, French, Jewish, Portuguese, Mughal and Parsi decent amongst many more. The European interest on India took dramatic turn about eight hundred years ago. The popular myth of Prester John , a priest king who ruled India was known all over Europe. India was known in Europe as land of unimaginable wealth. Long before that seafarers from Bengal was known for their muslin amongst wealthy Europeans many thousands of years.
In 1498, Vasco da Gama made his historic sea voyage to India. Roaring trade started between India and Europe with purchases continued to make Bengal, one of the richest province in the subcontinent. At one time, Bengal paid 50% of the subcontinent’s tax to Delhi’s treasury. Accumulation of wealth by Bengali natives especially during British Raj saw them built palatial mansions which Sourav represented diligently through his vintage bag collection.
In the world of global luxury bag market, genuinely creative ones fetches incredible market price. I feel, Saurav commitment to history and heritage of Calcutta and understanding of environmentally friendly business with zero impact, are key to his success. I am confident that his VICTORIA BAG is a great celebration of Calcutta’s uniquely styled culture rich heritage for global luxury handbag consumers. With more such iconic handbags from Sourav Ghosh, Bengal will be able to lure global luxury consumers to purchase, experience and enjoy its heritage, class and sophistication.
Handbag with Detachable long handle
Material: Genuine Imported leather.
Fittings: 24K gold plated.
Dimensions: 24 * 23* 9cm approx.
Care Instructions: Avoid contact from water, perfume, cosmetics, oil & grease & over filing items, keep always stuffed with tissue paper to retain its original shape.
Sustainability: This merchandise contains recycled zipper & paper bags.