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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 16 February 2019

Add a sari-gown to your destination wedding wardrobe

Days after opening Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, Gaurav Gupta will present his new range in Dubai

‘Un-Folding’ by Gaurav Gupta melds ethnic Indian motifs with modern silhouettes
‘Un-Folding’ by Gaurav Gupta melds ethnic Indian motifs with modern silhouettes

Indian fashion designer Gaurav Gupta has had a busy start to the year. After presenting the opening show for Lakme Fashion Week summer / resort 2019 at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai last month, the 37-year-old will display his latest collection, Un-Folding, in Dubai on February 16 and 17.

A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, Gupta has created a niche for himself with edgy couture creations that walk the line between ethnic and western clothing, including sari-gowns, half-saris and eveningwear that melds traditional Indian motifs with modern silhouettes.

The designer tells us more about his aesthetic and the collection he’s ­bringing to Dubai at The Rack by Kachins in Jumeirah.

How would you describe your design style?

My aesthetic is Indian at its core. I enjoy merging indigenous ­Indian construction and embellishing ­techniques with futuristic elements. The signature Gaurav Gupta design consists of sharp silhouettes with attention to detail, and structural garments made with techniques such as boning and sculpting.

Tell us more about your latest collection.

The name Un-Folding references the unfolding of a new chapter, a new idea of demi-couture and a new way of using traditional Indian textile. The garments combine handwoven fabrics and gravity-defying patternmaking. My aim is to continuously innovate, and this collection includes many firsts for the brand: Lucknowi chikankari fabric is draped into demi-couture dresses through origami folding. There’s a particular tone of yellow traditionally called “basanti”, which means the “essence of sunlit spring”. Hints of Banarsi brocade underscore the light occasionwear, making it perfect for a destination wedding. And in keeping with the lightness of chikankari, the colour palette features mostly pastel shades, such as candy yellow, space blue, lavender, sand pink and frost blue, as well as coin grey.

Gupta is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, and has stores in Mumbai and Delhi. Courtesy Gaurav Gupta
Gupta is a graduate of Central Saint Martins, and has stores in Mumbai and Delhi. Courtesy Gaurav Gupta

What’s your favourite piece?

A shadow grey dress, which Tabu wore to open the show at Lakme Fashion Week. The gown is made of organza and has a strapless boned bodice gathered using an origami-fold technique. Placed all over the tulle skirt are three-dimensional handmade flowers in organza and soft georgette, and glammed up with crystals.

Why did you decide to bring this collection to the UAE?

I am attracted to the UAE for the ­understanding it displays of fashion and its nuances. This is an aware ­market, where people appreciate innovation and originality. What I like is that Emiratis have an experimental quality, while the NRI community has a ­global view of fashion with a slight edge. ­Customers here can be classified into luxury futurists and traditionalists. Futurists are collectors of sorts, who like to hold on to new and experimental stuff, while traditionalists are luxury ambassadors. This works well for my label, which has elements of traditional Indian embellishments and rich textiles, to which I add my love for fluid structural construction.

Designer Gaurav Gupta, centre, with Tabu and Karan Johar at Lakme Fashion Week 
Designer Gaurav Gupta, centre, with Tabu and Karan Johar at Lakme Fashion Week

What are some fashion trends for 2019, according to you?

Because I see a sartorial reinvention around us, I’d say originality and new-age, never-seen-before concepts will be in trend. Sophisticated colours such as champagne, ecru, pale pink, silvers and greys will rule this year. Fashion will be about simplicity and subtlety. I also think sophisticated menswear will be a predominant trend in 2019.

What designers will we find in your wardrobe?

I like Y-3, Alexander McQueen and Yohji Yamamoto because of their innovative aesthetic. I value originality. It’s why I like to shop from Design District whenever I am in Dubai, and also visit Mall of the Emirates because it has a Y-3 store.

Updated: February 13, 2019 06:16 PM

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