March 10, 2023 FDCI

Blue-Eyed Fabric of Life

Liquid molten metallics have fascinated the runways, but Gaurav Jai Gupta takes it a step forward with his glazed appeal, this season.

By Asmita Aggarwal

Gaurav Jai Gupta has seen the rough and tumble of life, leaving home at the age of 15, to launching his brand 13 years ago, learning the ropes of a fast-changing fashion world has made him wiser through this insightful journey. Rewinding the clock, there has been a perceptible alteration on the way in which the consumer has matured, they are familiar with his metallic yarn, his Yves Klein blue as well as what the brand’s discreetness.

The Rohtak born designer is quick to grasp how many have risen in the style landscape through marketing, where it has become less about product and more about PR machinery— here Instagram popularity rules. “There is a lot less purity, the noise now is deafening, but the flip side is that social media gives you the option of sharing your point of view with the customer directly, making you fairly independent,” says Gaurav.

The fashion world is flooded with designers, who can hire ace lensmen, create a nostalgic campaign and then the drama unfolds, sometimes the older and more talented designers are left behind, as they don’t understand this medium. Known for his liquid molten saris that won him a cult following, this season he is back with less metallic but a certainly more glazed sheen. “The Sky is Mine Volume 2”, his line for FDCI X LFW, is subtle, updated where wool is combined with zari and silk. Weaves can’t be hurried, and the surface quilting is deftly executed by Gaurav, creating threadwork textures, using needle pinching techniques elevating this with slight accents. Each piece is thoughtful, unhurried and almost classic.

“There is an undeniable charm of blue, it has spiritual connotations, Shiva is blue, ocean to sky is considered blue, even our cricket team is dressed in blue,” he says. But the real blue pigment is only found in Afghanistan, even though there are many variations of this hue from indigo to marine and coral et al. “If you notice denims which half of the world is wearing or maybe even more,” he smiles. It is the shade of energy, evolution, and is surrounded by mysticism, it is this diverse nature of it that got him interested.

One of the first designers to install a loom in his studio, the idea was to experience, innovate and work on new weaves, as artisans displayed resistance to experimentation. “Many in India show textile immaturity and don’t understand discipline, also the younger generation needs to observe the quality of work, and not shift focus on how much you sell,” he admits, adding he never allowed Bollywood to enter his space, and did things on his own terms.

The candidness is visible in Gaurav’s conversations, he confesses when he began, even if he had a distinct handwriting, it took him sometime to discover it. That’s why his bridal line, with pure zari, sent him on a quest to design one, when he didn’t find anything “substantial” during his wedding to Surabhi. Coming from a similar background, also a designer she understood his lineage, visited his family home in Chandni Chowk, is value driven and they make an ideal pair. The bridal line “Meena” is an ode to the richness in life, which is mirrored in the fabric, as life for the designer himself completed a full circle.


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Fashion Design Council of India