In 2015, designer Gaurav Gupta closed Lakmé Fashion Week at Mehboob Studio in Bandra with a show titled Sculpt. On display were glamorous ruffles, oversized shoulders, exaggerated sleeves and romantic drapes with the gorgeous Kareena Kapoor Khan, his showstopper.
Six years later, Gaurav, who is best described as future primitive, known for innovative pattern cutting and sculptural draping, is all set to recreate his magic again at the Lakmé Absolute Grand Finale at FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week, and is bringing back his favourite muse, Kareena, after two seasons. Called #DefineToRedefine, the collection will see Gaurav presenting his signature couture, demi-couture as well as prêt using fabrics created from plastic found in landfills and oceans. Ahead of the show today, we spoke to the avant-garde designer about his collection, his choice of fabric and if ready-to-wear is going to be an extension of the label Gaurav Gupta.
Excerpts from the interview:
Run us through the mood board of your collection, #DefineToRedefine.
The mood board reflects my experiences from my diving trip to the Andamans in January this year. When I dived underwater, I saw an endless universe out there and it was really magical. This collection is inspired by that feeling. LFW and I together came up with the concept of #DefineToRedefine for the finale. I wanted to redefine the way people look at shapes, forms and (the concept of) sustainability, which (in the realm of fashion) is usually seen as daywear and organic. I wanted to redefine it as sexy and glamorous. We literally took wrappers of crisps and biscuits, plastic bottles and other daily consumables and turned them into the fabric with which we have created Gaurav Gupta couture, demi-couture and some ready-to-wear pieces in gold, silver, white gold, black, white and some metallic colours.
What led you to upcycle ocean plastic? What were the challenges you faced?
First, was finding people who make fabric out of the plastic found in oceans and landfills because for me, the carbon footprint is a burning reality and all of us in the fashion and other industries need to wake up to the need of causing a lesser carbon footprint. Thankfully, we found someone in Pune who weaves actual plastic into the fabric, and we sculptured clothes out of that. We have also used some PET plastic as a base for our garments. So the challenge was: could we make it look ‘Gaurav Gupta’?
Take us through the silhouettes and the detailing technique?
The silhouettes are all inspired by underwater creatures and there are abstract shapes that have been sculpted but with complete precision. You will see a lot of exploration in shape, and some real statement pieces. When it comes to surface detailing, we have used glass beading.
Lastly, what is your dream project?
To design costumes for a fantasy movie or series, but it should be mixed with my fantasy. I think I will have to co-create it (laughs).