Gaurav Gupta is the third Indian designer ever, to show at Haute Couture Week and last night, at Palais de Tokyo, he unveiled his spring-summer 2023 couture collection. Known for his sculpted designs in couture and ready-to-wear, his themes in surrealism and fanaticism, as well as his fine jewelry make him sought after. The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) chose Gupta to be on the official calendar because of his quintessential Indian core, of incorporating indigenous construction and the flamboyant details of his craftsmanship.
Graduating from Central Saint Martins in London, Gupta launched his brand in 2004 and today, he has been able to create a brand that permeates on the world’s stage. Having dressed Megan, Thee Stallion at the Grammy’s last year, Jennifer Hudson, and Latin artist Maluma at the Latin Billboards has allowed him the opportunity to grab the attention of the celebrity world. The man and woman that wears Gaurav Gupta are quite unique with a distinct personality.
“My brand is very couture and futuristic but rooted in detailed craftsmanship,” says Gupta. “Our aesthetic is usually described as future primitive as I mostly draw inspiration from fantastical, surreal themes and hence, it’s almost like a parallel spectrum that we think in. The woman who wants to experiment, make a statement, feel glamorous, and is confident is the woman who wears the brand. She’s self-aware, travels, and likes to dress up in fantasy – with a purpose and somebody who is artistically curious and has a keen eye for detail.”
So, when the FHCM chose to host Gupta on the calendar he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. “It was no less than a dream come true when I found out that we were on the official calendar for Haute Couture Week. I have been inventing and reinventing my craft with indigenous techniques and materials for over 18 years now and when we learned of the news, my team and I was elated with gratitude and joy that we have been given the opportunity to showcase our ingenuity at Couture Week,” says the designer.
Moreover, Gupta believes he brought something unique to haute couture week, their: strong, conceptual mind scape which is translated visually as future primitive, artistic couture alongside his brand’s pillars of surrealism & fanaticism.
Themed Shunya, a Sanskrit word meaning zero. According to the house in notes: zero was discovered in India centuries ago, which allowed for the study of space and time. “It changed the way humans could perceive possibilities in arithmetic – way beyond their wildest imagination,” shares Gupta.
“From a purist school of thought, we have explored zero in its absolute form and how it expands into infinity. The gap between zero and infinity, if any, has underscored the expressions running through the collection. The infinite forms and themes are articulated in futuristic constructs engineered with structured draping – a technique developed and honed in-house, with the use of indigenous hand-woven textiles.”
There’s an asymmetrical element to many of the silhouettes in the collection. It brings a unique form of body movement to looks. The way Gupta has incorporated embroidery, gives movement to the female form in a unique way. And this movement is based on the five elements, called Panchamahabhutas in Indian mythology. “These abstractions are imagined on a naked body with the use of embellishing methods which emulate movement,” continues Gupta. “It took us around 3 months to conceptualize and make the collection. Our artisans, seamstresses and tailors were almost working round the clock to visually realize what we had envisioned collectively.”
The textiles used to tell this collection story include Indian handwoven tissue to handloom Banarasi brocade, silk satins, organzas and crepes, which are embellished with a variety of embroideries like fine zardozi, thousands of glass beads which are implemented in their own couture explorations. “We also played around with lovely diaphanous fabrics like chiffon and organza, and we developed our own textiles for sculpting, which is indigenous to the brand” he shares.
There is an element of Egypt in the collection as well. In his use of gold and black, Gupta incorporated ancient Egypt. Pyramid nails are sewn into detailed directional embroideries- a handwoven technique to symbolize infinity.
“Haute Couture Week is the mecca of fashion. It is an honor to represent our country and partake in a spectacle which celebrates the art of couture and supreme craftsmanship. The team and I were eagerly looking forward to exhibiting the world of Gaurav Gupta on such a revered global platform, which has been uniting the world with fashion – bestowing creative opportunities upon couturiers who have been creating magic,” says Gupta.
Nothing it has been a good time for the brand, with their creations being shown on Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Billboard Awards red carpets. FHCM has given Gaurav Gupta to the opportunity to further expand globally through this opportunity, something that’s not lost on the designer.
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