Gaurav Gupta has studied the “Undercurrent” like no one else and decided not to swim against the tide. His couture is lighter, subtler and unfussy, armed with his new offering of shiny baubles and sharp tailoring to create an awakening for those who possess an undeniable mystique
By Asmita Aggarwal
He is from the pedigree of designers who have made path-breaking a norm in fashion, whether it was Alexander McQueen or Stella McCartney, all Central Saint Martins’ alumni, who possess a quest to understand the physics of silhouettes and desire to manipulate it. Our homegrown Gaurav Gupta is no different. Whether it is the overlapping flap pockets on his trousers, his buckle-detail jacket, rivet studded shoes or his new “hairstyle” everything is in tandem with what he believes about couture, “it mirrors the cultural shift towards more avant-garde design, something that has technique, design, and feeling”.
Maybe that’s why he admits, couture is creating unusual, fearless clothes, whether it’s about new designs, adding a unique pattern or signature sculpting technique that has harmony in movement and a feeling of infinity. “Couture is a dialogue between the client and the designer. Couture is theatrical…it’s about making a statement —- subtle, sexy or risqué and it is way more experimental now than ever before,” he adds.
With a shift in mindset, the bride and groom are liberated and confident, and they want the couture to be an extension of that. This freedom of thought got mirrored in his ICW 2019 line with a launch of fine jewellery, designed, curated and conceptualized by GG hoping to give a holistic experience to those who come to him for a complete look. “I’d say conceptualization is not that challenging as compared to execution. Conceptualisation is something which is done wholly by me and comes naturally. Execution, on the other hand, takes a lot of planning and coordination amongst various teams and can, sometimes, be a bit challenging. Having said that, it’s a fun process and look forward to every bit of it,” he explains.
GG didn’t abandon his current love for the 70s with flared pants, giving women a leaner, taller look, while his menswear bore signages of a rather carefree look with trousers stopping at the ankles as shoes got a glittery makeover with tone-on-tone sequins, studs, stars, and rivets. His love for black was omnipresent and was peppered with white, making monochromes a mainstay. He steered clear from any brightness and courted cutout flowers, and exaggerated bows along with swirls to add drama to an otherwise quietly shimmering line. That’s why the ash grey futuristic gown moved effortlessly along Diana Penty succulent curves.
Gaurav has played with multiple fabrics and techniques this year and experimented and enhanced his classic, signatures making them intriguing and futuristic. Chikankari has been re-imagined as a canvas to duplicate the art adorned on the walls of Palace of Versailles. “I have used organza obsessively in our ruffled gowns, ruffled dupattas, bustles, and even 3D flowers. For menswear, we have experimented with beautiful jacquard silks and rubions,” he says.
Though his handwriting was evident, giving each garment, individuality, and life of its own through the sculpting technique which gives an intergalactic meaning to a sari, lehenga and or sari-gowns. “I would say my techniques have evolved manifolds since the time I first starting sculpting garments. We have added the much loved cascading silhouette to our sari-lehenga and have further enhanced it with mythical motifs and embroideries. Our sari-gowns have evolved in terms of the use of fabric like chikankari. We have incorporated corsets and added a layer of dramatic, functional bustles for women, who seek making a statement and want to dance the night away freely too,” he adds.
A GG muse is someone who loves art, abstract forms, sculpture and is confident and fearless. She appreciates the finer things in life and believes in channeling her authentic self. She is rooted yet not tied down by tradition; she continuously explores and isn’t afraid to show the kind of desires and strength she has. She is the woman of today-glocal and liberated. “A modern Indian bride desires to just be her true, authentic and original self. She does not want to be weighed down by the weight of couture but desires to be empowered by it. She embodies a goddess-like spirit,” he concludes.