New Delhi, 29 July, 2019: A Gaurav Gupta outfit is distinctly recognisable in its sculptural style, one he has been practising since junior school, and successfully selling since 2004.
But, how does he keep the same design relevant even after 15 long years in the Indian fashion industry?
The celebrity designer questions back, “How did (Salvador) Dali keep reinventing surrealism? It’s as simple as that.”
Gupta, 40, calls himself an artist, a surrealist artist to be specific, and his clothing lines do a fair job substantiating his claim.
The quintessential GG sculptural garments come in a plethora of silhouettes ranging from sarees, and lehengas, to gowns and dresses, and are fantastical, with their exquisite embellishments, daring ruffles, and ambitious trails.
A visit to his new store in Mehrauli here that opened doors last year, will expose how Gupta indulges in “endless exploration”.
Sometimes he moulds fabrics in an origamic way, sometimes he uses just a tad bit more of organza. At other times he will simply switch to fabrics like georgettes, tulles, silks, neoprenes or velvets.
“I have a problem. I have an innate need to keep creating something new,” he admits.
The designer’s claim to fame was the concept sari, a phenomenon that let one exude the elegance of the nine yards without having to go through the trouble of draping it.
Gupta challenged himself further, and soon after introduced the saree gown.
Almost a decade later, both designs continue to be a rage among his ever expanding clientele of contemporary Indian brides who choose to wear a GG concept sari or a sari gown for a lot of their wedding functions.
Leading Bollywood actors including Madhuri Dixit Nene and Dia Mirza have also donned them on the red carpet every now and then.
Gupta’s core design philosophy alludes to the form of a free flowing river, celebrating its curves, its edges and its volume.
His latest clothing line that was showcased at the ongoing India Couture Week here on Saturday, is also seemingly an ode to flowing water. Very wavy and ripply, it is aptly called “The Undercurrent”.
“This collection has the feeling of the moment when the wind touches the surface of water… that moment of undercurrent,” Gupta explains.
The line is a 2.0 version of what Gupta has been representative of all this time. The silhouettes are crisper, and the designs edgier.
“It is very refined, a bit more mature, and it is playful in bits. It has a different side to it. It is sexy. It is also strong,” he says.
The designer also has an unmissable dynamic colour palette, in not just the number of colours he explores, but the variants of a single hue that he uses.
There’s rosewood pink, and sand pink. There is also lava red, carmine red. Shades of grey include ash grey, dusk grey, cloud grey, cobble grey, lava grey and many more.
Actor Huma Qureshi turned heads at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year in a heavily ruffled silvermist grey gown by Gupta.
“Our colours are based on feelings. It is very emotional. The lava grey literally looks like the lava of a volcano,” he says.
But, the colour of the season for him this time is violet, a shade he is debuting with in this new collection.
“I have never done violet as a colour.”
“In this collection there’s an obsession with violet. There’s soft violet and there’s dark lavender. But, it’s not lilac,” he says, resisting a chuckle.
He has given his signature sculptures an edge with a generous use of feathers, and ruffles, and the dominating fabric is organza.
Gupta has also chosen his 15th year in the fashion industry to mark his entry into jewellery designing with the launch of “Being Gaurav Gupta and Occasions Fine Jewellery”.
“I didn’t like the jewellery in the market at all. It is really ugly,” he says without any inhibitions.
“When I see brides wearing my gowns and they send me pictures, I am like, ‘why did she wear this ugly necklace or these earrings?’. It has just been irritating me for a long time,” he adds.
The line will largely feature diamond jewellery, with hints of emeralds, rubies and opals.
Besides nurturing the newly launched jewellery segment, the designer says expansion plans of brand GG’s retail footprint are underway with two new stores set to open in the country.