From dressing bigwigs in eclectic couture season after season to showcasing a surreal line of ensembles in Paris and Delhi couture weeks in less than a month — Gaurav Gupta has to be the busiest designer in India right now. Wondering at his back- to-back accolades and demanding schedule, the first thing that comes to mind is his secret mantra for de-stress. "Sleep," reveals the designer nonchalantly after showcasing his latest couture collection ‘Hiranyagarbha’ at Paris Haute Couture Week in July, fol- lowed by an offsite showcase at the FDCI India Couture Week.
For his runway show in Paris, American rapper Cardi B, and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing were seen on the front row wearing couture outfits from his recent collection. On the other hand, at the Indian couture showcase held in the capital, Gupta dressed film actor Janhvi Kapoor in an electric blue lehenga to culminate his India edit collection. Speaking about the showstopper outfit, the designer informs, "Janhvi’s ensemble was adorned with 30000 (approx.) hand- embroidered glass bugle beads which took 457 man hours to make." At this year’s Academy Awards, Telugu movie superstar Jr NTR’s custom-made bandhgala sherwani embellished with a golden lion was designed by Gaurav Gupta, which was an instant hit with Indian fashion lovers all over the world for the meaningful symbolism. Revealing the inspiration behind this iconic outfit, the designer says, "My inspiration for designing the exquisite custom-made attire for Jr. NTR was derived from a fusion of various elements. It is a surreal experience to witness Indian cinema being celebrated at The Oscars. Therefore, I wanted the outfit to reflect Jr. NTR’s personality while also embodying a truly global Indian identity. The antique Tiger embroidery on the black velvet Bandhgala flawlessly ties all the elements together. The ‘Tiger’ signifies India’s national animal, pays tribute to Jr. NTR who is popularly known as ‘The Young Tiger,’ and symboliSes the film we are com- memorating — RRR."
The designer takes a lot of pride in being a global label that makes couture entirely in our country. Since the brand’s conception, he has been employing traditional textiles and ancient embroidery techniques like zardozi, aari work, etc. with generational artisans who have mastered their craft over several years. Gupta believes draping is part of his DNA which, as a technique, pred o m i n a n t l y belongs to India. And, talking about his couture showcase for the Indian audience, he says, "I expanded the ‘Hiranyagarbha’ story show-cased in Paris to include reception cocktail lehengas, gowns, saris and modern hybrid silhouettes with the synergies of comfortable, confident easy couture. The collection for the India edit is inspired by the manifested cosmos in Vedic philosophy, the collection includes the interpretations of the five elements: Panchamahabhutas — earth (prithvi), water (jal), fire (agni), air (vayu), and space (akasha) from the universal womb." Before signing off, the designer hints at excit- ing collaborations and new collections. For all his professional success, he expresses gratitude and adds, "I feel content. The expansion plans are happening organically. I am glad that we have a strong working family s y s t e m . Everyone specialises in what they are good at and things flow smoothly as a result."