On any award season’s dramatic red carpet, the outfit is the proverbial winner. And nearly two decades after he revamped the bridal couture in India, Gaurav Gupta pushed the envelope once again with his Paris Haute Couture Week debut. From Jr NTR at the Oscars to Cardi B at the Grammys, this ace couturier’s creations have seen the glitz and glamour.
At few achieve. But for the designer’s rebellious spirit, there are many more miles to go. Excerpts from an interview:
Congratulations on your Paris Haute Couture Week debut. How was the experience and has there been a shift in perspective for you since then?
Gaurav Gupta: The experience of debuting at Paris Haute Couture Week was breathtaking and felt like a dream come true. Being selected by the prestigious federation to showcase on this revered global platform made me feel proud and grateful. This opportunity has been a long-time dream, and it took the team and I 25 years to make it a reality. We wanted to be fully equipped as an organization to maintain the momentum of this achievement.The response from all over the world has been heartwarming and overwhelming. Our efforts all this while were being aligned to this very moment. Now the focus will be to make this more bigger and magical with each passing season and collection.
Tell us a little about your creative process. How did your new collection, Secret of Shores, come to exist?
Gaurav Gupta: For this collection, we have weaved the secrets of shores in our sculptural couture – mermaids poised on the rocks, abstract corals luminous from within, fins craved with our indigenous techniques have been interpreted with endlessly glittering and enchanting silhouettes emerging out of the ocean. Sand-coloured satins, crepes and tules are basking in gilded sunray-like embroideries interspersed with art nouveau inspired gothic overlays enhanced with infinite glass bugle beads and metal coil embroideries. Lehengas and gowns are made voluminous with fluid play of organza layers which move like the waves of the ocean. We have explored new hybrid silhouettes like sensual lehengas and saree lehengas which are more sculptural and mermaid-esque. There are violets and purples along with ocean blue reminiscent of the colour of the dusk at the shore. There is also a colour of the dew imagined in an array of shimmering golds, sparkling silvers which reflect the shores glowing in the bright sun.
Your designs are being appreciated globally. Is there a strategy in place for such celebrity collaborations? Do they have to suit your design sensibility or do you work around theirs?
Gaurav Gupta: It’s a natural process honestly. Both the artist and I align on the vision and we are grateful for Hema Bose of Maison Bose to bring all of this together. We work closely with her to dress all these culturalists. We have been able to dress this far and have some really exciting projects and placements in the pipeline.
What happens to the outfits after the event? Can we expect an archival collection at your atelier?
Gaurav Gupta: Yes, we do keep adding such iconic moments as part of the Gaurav Gupta archive. From Megan Thee Stallion’s dress to Aishwarya Rai’s and now Cardi’s, we are excited to expand our archives and hopefully collate them all together for an exhibit in the future to celebrate the glorious journey of the brand.
Indian designers are having their moment internationally. Do you have any advice for other designers who are looking beyond our boundaries?
Gaurav Gupta: I’d say that one has to be true to their voice and their sense of understanding of the industry and the magic is then just around the corner for you to happen if you are determined with your hardwork and sensibilities.