Alchemy of Fashion - Gaurav Gupta

Afirst-generation designer from a business family, Gaurav Gupta was drawn towards art and sculpture from an early age. He knew well enough that his calling was fashion and design. Recognised as the ‘Future of Couture’ by Altaroma Altamoda, Gaurav informs us that he takes inspiration from nature, architecture, travel, and art. And so fashion design was only a natural progression for him. It began at the Central Saint Martins College (CSM), where he was exposed to many different art forms, cultures, and ideas. His time at CSM; experiences working with Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen thereafter; and being the youngest jury member at Mittelmoda helped him shape his thoughts and ideas for a clear direction of what he wanted to do. The progressive couturier, who started his own label in 2004, gets candid with You & I.

What gets your creative juices flowing?
I see design in literally everything around me and I tend to derive newer, more unusual forms from the obvious. My brand has a strong signature, inspired by nature, trees, abstract shapes of clouds, alternative mythology, and dreamscapes. I create sculptural silhouettes that are structured yet fluid; the garments are dreamy and surreal, achieved through painstaking handcrafted embroideries and silhouettes. I’m always in awe of this world and my mind is always on the go.

How do you go about your work when designing a particular collection?
My designs are an expression of my thoughts. My mind never takes time off; it’s restless or overactive most of the time, which keeps me on my toes throughout the day. I like to sketch during the quieter hours of the day.

What are some of your daily challenges?
When one loves his/her work, nothing is really a challenge.

How do you handle criticism?
Since the industry is naturally subjected to criticism, all we can do is either ignore or learn from it and move forward.

What is a must-have accessory for wedding outfits?
Since our garments have a global appeal, diamond jewellery makes a stunning combination with our modern silhouettes. A striking pair of earrings and a delicate bracelet complete the look.

And for party wear?
Unconventional silhouettes in lightweight fabrics that are comfortable to walk around or dance in. And a short, sexy dress for the after party!

What do you feel is the future of sustainable fashion?
I think it is the need of the hour and everyone should be working towards sustainable fashion. I don’t use pure fabrics like cotton or silk for any of my collections. Also, I have placed oxygen-exhaling plants all around the factory, and use recycled fruit plastic (biodegradable in 21 months) for packaging.

Describe your style in one word.
Experimental.

What are your future plans?
With the launch of our largest couture store in Mehrauli and a renewed focus on menswear with GG Man and GG Groom, it’s a very exciting time for our brand right now. We are currently working on the SS19 collection, where we’re experimenting with textured elements and bold shapes and silhouettes. For the first time, the brand is introducing chikankari, a traditional Indian embroidery from Lucknow, in a very contemporary way. The collection is going to be a quintessential blend of traditional and modern sensibilities with easy, free-flowing silhouettes. We will also be looking at some major design collaborations in the coming months.        – as told to Sumana