Designer Gaurav Gupta is unstoppable.
From simultaneous store launches to translating his fantastical vision into a jewellery line and decking up Bollywood beauties, Deepika Padukone and Sara Ali Khan, at the recently concluded IIFA in custom-made couture, he is on a roll. However, there is no stopping him. To put in poetically, when the world is thinking about Christmas, the designer is already planning for Valentine's Day. In a conversation with the couturier, he talked about his sculptural aspirations, you heard it here first!
He says, "For me, art or designing is not restricted to clothing. All my creations are a result of my imagination. It’s my personal aesthetic that I try and inculcate in all my designs. Mythical creatures have always fascinated me, and sculpture as an art form is something I am very passionate about. You will always see fantastical sculptures in the clothes I design or spaces that I create. For our new store(s), I designed a collection of special sculptures and furniture inspired by my obsession with mythical beings. Each piece has been a labour of love and has taken a team of extremely skilled craftsmen to bring to life mediums ranging from wood to stone to cast iron."
How has the Kolkata experience been?
The experience has been really overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. The people welcomed us with open arms and we feel blessed to be able to cater to such a market which is progressive in its outlook towards fashion while holding its culture and tradition closer to its heart. One thing is for sure, only exciting times are there for us going forward.
A memorable fashion moment in the city...
It has to be seeing the final result when the store was up and running! It felt like I was looking and the old and new come together, as we displayed our futuristic garments in a space that has carried such a meaningful, historical narrative to this date. This is what a harmonious contrast would look like- one in which two different entities complement each other.
Is there a specific décor theme since it is located in a century-old heritage destination?
Well, all fashion stores are typically an extension of a brand’s DNA and ours is no different. Each of our stores across the country projects the Gaurav Gupta aesthetic with a unique perspective of the city it is based in, and its people. I believe that this space will resonate with the people of Calcutta who in my opinion are progressive yet effortlessly elegant. The décor is also reminiscent of the rich culture and history shared by the people here.
What are the design aesthetics of Gaurav Gupta Occasions Fine Jewellery?
To be honest, whenever I saw pictures of brides who were my clients, I felt that everything looked great, but the jewellery they wore was quite ugly. Also, having worked with a jewellery brand in Italy 15 years ago, designing a collection of my own was always on the cards especially because diamond jewellery in India is not really designed properly. I wanted to give birth to an authentic couture brand with a strong design ethos. Hence, Gaurav Gupta Occasions Fine Jewellery - where the technical side of the jewellery is paid attention to, and for that, I am happy that our partners, Occasions Fine Jewellery, are able to translate our aesthetic into reality. We have followed a very intense process, where the highest quality diamonds have been cut in our own shapes, to be set in a truly couture manner- sculpted and surreal.
Are there any favourite pieces or stones from the jewellery collection?
I love every single piece designed by me but I will say that the Liberation necklace is really special in the way it has been designed in the shape of wings interwoven together. Each piece of this necklace was set under a microscope, a delicate combination of rose-cut and full-cut diamonds- 8000 pieces in all, created over 8 months. The highlight of the construction is that every feather is scooped from the backside to keep the necklace light on the wearer. Even the earrings with this necklace were was thoughtfully and painstakingly designed to project the movement of a bird gracefully taking flight.
Tell us more about upcoming store in Hyderabad too.
I have always been enamoured by the regal history and mighty architecture of Hyderabad along with the elegance with which people dress here. It is an exciting market for me to showcase avant-garde couture, which finds its foundation in surrealism and magic realism, to a futuristic audience which is culturally rooted. I believe, through my design, here, we will be creating a new culture, new thinking- whether it’s through our couture forms, techniques or shape. I am certain that the modern Indian consumer in Hyderabad will embrace the magic we weave in our garments with utmost grace and panache.