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Fashion designer Sharbari Dutta found dead in Kolkata residence

By Asmita Agarwal and IANS Kolkata / Delhi, Sept 18: Ace fashion designer Sharbari Dutta was found dead inside the bathroom at her south Kolkata's Broad Street residence on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.She

By Asmita Agarwal and IANS

Kolkata / Delhi, Sept 18: Ace fashion designer Sharbari Dutta was found dead inside the bathroom at her south Kolkata’s Broad Street residence on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
She was 63.
According to police sources, Dutta was found dead inside her bathroom around 12.15am on Friday. Officials of local police station and Kolkata Police headquarters Lalbazar’s homicide branch reached the spot at night.
Her family members said Dutta (63) was last seen at dinner on Tuesday. After that she also went incommunicado.
Primary investigation suggested that she died of a sudden cardiac attack at the toilet. But the family members of Dutta said she was otherwise keeping fine and had no such chronic ailment.
Kolkata Police’s homicide branch will carry out the investigation to find out the actual reason of the fashion designer’s sudden demise. Dutta’s body was sent for the post-mortem examination.
Daughter of celebrated Bengali poet Ajit Dutta, Sharbari Dutta was a popular name in the costume designing industry for over the past few decades, especially in the field of men’s ethnicwear. In fact, it was Dutta who had introduced coloured Bengali dhotis and designer Punjabis (kurta) to the mainstream fashion world with her exclusive touch on bright colours along with embroidery work.

Tributes pour in

“It’s shocking news. I haven’t met her personally but seen some of her work. I always admired her selection of colours and motifs especially for menswear. May her soul rest in peace and the family find strength to bear the loss. The industry will always be indebted to her contribution,” said Gautam Gupta of the label Outre.

Rina Dhaka, designer, said, “She was a celebrated designer who met an untimely and painful death. Her contribution to Bengal’s cultural ethos is inimitable. She was a beacon of light to many designers who looked up to her understanding of design and fabrics.”

 “Sharbari was known to have a loyal fan following. Bollywood’s intellectual actress Vidya Balan was also a devotee of her work. She came from a literary family and this reflected in her aesthetics which were soaked in the cultural ethos of Bengal. Her menswear was vivacious and often took references from Hindu mythology. Her contribution is enormous and she will be missed,”  said Diksha Khanna, fashion designer.

“It is not short of a shock to hear of the sudden demise of Sharbari Dutta,” Jayshree Burman, artist, said. 

“We as the collective community of artists are dumbfounded at the news, and are once again reminded of how fleeting life is…only moments remain. I have fond memories of visiting her store to buy clothes for myself, but the warmth with which she helped me choose — whether silk kurtas or dhotis — was touching. This personalized attention to her clients made her a favourite with everyone! Not to mention her kaantha stitch heavy work which put the local art of Bengal on the global map. Her smooth blend of ethnicity with modernity was commendable as well! Today, we lost another original…my deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Asmita Aggarwal has been a journalist for 27 years. Has worked with Hindustan Times, Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle and Cosmopolitan, and been editor-in-chief with the iconic French L’OFFICIEL. Relaunched The Patriot in Delhi and is a consultant with the Fashion Design Council of India. Teaches fashion communication at Pearl Academy and NIFT.