Nearly 20 years after launching his eponymous model, Indian designer Gaurav Gupta made his hotly anticipated debut at Paris Haute Couture Week on Thursday.
The prestigious occasion’s recognition of Gupta alerts the rising worldwide standing of a couturier who has lengthy been beloved by his Bollywood clientele. This previous yr has seen the designer’s profile skyrocket, along with his sculptural creations worn by world A-list stars together with Cardi B, Lizzo and Kylie Minogue.
At final yr’s Oscars, rapper Megan Thee Stallion donned a slate-blue, body-hugging robe, custom-designed by Gupta, that featured a dramatic practice flowing out like delicate waves. The media protection it generated “was so beautiful,” he stated at his non permanent showroom close to the Champs-Élysées in Paris earlier this week.
“It propelled us and it gave us the confidence that we were ready as an Indian couture brand to go global,” the designer added.
Megan Thee Stallion attends the 2022 Oscars. “Megan, Cardi B, Lizzo, Maluma — they are all representing a different culture and shifting culture. So for me, I’m collaborating with culturalists,” Gupta stated. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images/FILE
Haute Couture Week is a biannual spectacle at which essentially the most unique vogue — clothes painstakingly made by hand and offered at eye-watering costs — is shipped down runways in entrance of star-studded audiences. Gupta recalled being on a aircraft and “about to take off” when he heard that his model had been chosen to indicate on the occasion.
“It was very dramatic,” he stated. “I was alone on the plane and for the next two hours, I was just looking outside and crying. We were just this couturier, and this is history happening in front of my eyes. This dream has been 25 years in the making — ever since I started working in fashion.”
Building a model
After graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Gupta based his label in 2005. His brother Saurabh joined the operation early on. Together they grew the business, opening 5 boutiques in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad, and frequently dressing Bollywood stars, Indian socialites and brides.
In the start, Gupta’s high-concept collections got here in additional subdued palettes, subverting what was being offered within the Indian market on the time. Converting what he confirmed on the runway into business gross sales took a while to determine.
Model Coco Rocha and designer Gaurav Gupta pose backstage previous to the present on January 26, 2023 in Paris, France. Credit: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
“Being a very concept-driven brand in a very traditional market was not the easiest. Over the years, I’ve found a balance of how to make wearable concepts,” he stated.
A worldwide outlook
Gupta and his workforce have been working towards the Paris couture presentation for the previous six months, from creating ideas and sketches to sourcing, dyeing and embroidering materials. The label has additionally been getting ready for consumers’ visits to the Paris showroom the place its eveningwear assortment, which is at present offered by way of Moda Operandi, might be on show. The American retailer Neiman Marcus can also be set to supply the model’s designs, and Gupta relishes the problem of increasing his presence within the West.
“America is huge and we’re going to be stocked with the best players in the market,” Gupta stated. “It’s been a nice progression of having celebrity collaborations — cultural collaborations, is what I’d like to call them — and (in parallel) have our agents do sales. It’s a 360-degree plan.”
For the label’s debut assortment at Haute Couture Week, the thought of “shunya,” the Sanskrit phrase for zero, was the start line.
“When zero was discovered … the world expanded into infinity. Time was no longer linear,” Gupta stated, including that explorations of area and time impressed the gathering.
Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the Cannes movie pageant on May 19, 2022 in Cannes, France sporting Gaurav Gupta creation. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images/FILE
Models stroll the runway in the course of the Gaurav Gupta Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 present on January 26, 2023 in Paris, France. Credit: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images
Thursday’s runway present started with a sequence of maximum silhouettes in sensual textures. Several seems featured swan-like wings that twisted round fashions’ shoulders and hips earlier than trailing onto the ground. The ensembles had been made utilizing Indian hand-loomed and hand-woven tissue materials, which had been sculpted utilizing the label’s embellishing methods and embroidered with crystals, giving every costume an effervescent sensibility.
An eruption of indigo, electric-blue items adopted. Strong statements in their very own proper, every look was designed head-to-toe in the identical hue and paired with matching legging boots that appeared to suit the fashions like a second pores and skin.
A mannequin walks the runway in the course of the Gaurav Gupta Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023 present on January 26, 2023 in Paris, France. Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Then got here a parade of nude-illusion clothes that noticed intricate black gildings strategically positioned over sheer, skin-toned tulle. They had been adopted by pops of coloration by the use of silver, black and neon yellow clothes. A succession of black and gold creations then concluded the present.
“When people see my collections, they say, ‘Your clothes are very beautiful but they’re not very Indian,’ which isn’t right,” stated Gupta.
“There’s a sense of fluid form, maximalism, the techniques and craftsmanship — all of that is Indian. I want to challenge the perception of the words ‘India’ or ‘Indianness.'”
Top picture caption: Models stroll the Gaurav Gupta runway on January 26, 2023 in Paris, France.