Suneet Varma has been on a high for the past couple of months. The designer, who celebrated his silver jubilee in the industry with a couture show in November, will launch a coffee table book — Suneet Varma — at the French embassy in New Delhi tonight. The 296-pager, authored by Nishat Fatima, features images, interviews, collections and sketches, tracing not just his journey but also that of the industry in India. “I started working on this over a decade ago when late photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta suggested it. But half-way through I got cold feet as I didn’t have a large enough body of work. Books live longer than people and I’ve always found my relationship with them to be very gratifying,” he explains.
“It’s an overview of fashion over the last 20-plus years, with images by photographers Prabuddha, Bharat Sikka, Farrokh Chothia, interviews with experts Anil Chopra, JJ Valaya, Namrata Joshipura, Harmeet Bajaj, and models like Madhu Sapre, Tamara Moss,” says Suneet, who spent much time working closely with the editor.
Included in the publication are some of Suneet’s earliest sketches of actress Dimple Kapadia, his work at Yves Saint Laurent and a painting of Napolean on a khadi tablecloth. “I’m proud of some of my work and not so proud of others. You learn to take it in your stride,” he adds. While it’s a fashion-centric book, Suneet says that it has a larger appeal. “It’s more about passion than fashion. I was an average student from a simple background and never realised I could achieve something, until I started believing in myself. But this is not my life work as I have so much more to do and say,” affirms the designer.