Banarsi touch to brighten up your special days
Words: Ambica Gulati
Roberto Cavalli wine, some snacks and Gautam Gupta’s new Handloom Couture collection—Cavalli Café in DLF Emporio, Delhi, was abuzz as Romola Bachhan, Rakka Singh (wife of the Ambassador of Belgium to India H.E. Jan Luykx), designer Pawan Sachdeva and a few more privy to Gautam Gupta’s new collection reveled in the silk, motifs and colours of Banaras. Lehenga-cholis, sarees and bright oranges, greens, pinks and yellows lit up the glass Cavalli Café with its zebra-striped interiors.
Gupta’s journey into designing began with his mother Asha when he was in the 12th standard, more than a decade back. After five years of working in this area, he fell in love with fabrics, motifs, colours and went on to study at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, after his MBA. Then he launched his prêt label, Autre, for western wear. Under his Indian wear label, Vinayak Couture, he continues to work with the rich handloom heritage of Banaras. I caught up with him to know what keeps the creative juices flowing. Excerpts:
What is the USP of this new collection?
The USP is bridal couture fabrics with Banarasi motifs. We have worked with the weavers in Banaras to blend fabrics and bring out appealing textures and motifs. This collection is a combination of silk, Banarsi tissue, kora, jute yarn with silk, slub yarn in silk, dupioni silk texture on organza, georgette with jute, and velvet appliqué on kora.
What is the strength of Vinayak Couture?
Definitely embroidery and weaving. In this collection too there is intricate work such as Petit point, Parsi Gara, Gota dori and zardozi. Some designs take as long as two months to embroider.
Most traditional weavers also have their traditional designs and motifs with them. Have you also looked at clubbing your inspirations with their traditions?
Florals are the mainstay of Banaras. And you find a lot of that in our collection. But we also have human figures and birds in some pieces. Actually, it’s tough getting the traditional Muslim weavers to weave figures as they don’t like that. But we did manage to make a few eye-grabbing patterns.
All the silhouettes, colours, cuts are very Indian. Do you not wish to make fusions like most others these days?
Our vision is to offer more variety in the Indian wear under Vinayak Couture, so we like to keep the cuts and silhouettes Indian. The muse is Indian, someone who loves India and its colours, its heritage and cherishes Indian clothing. The colour palette is also towards brighter shades. These are the rich Indian hues that we like to wear on all traditional occasions, especially weddings and festivals.
Do we find Vinayak Couture in other countries too?
We are selling through Indian routes. We have dressed NRIs in London, US, South Africa.
Anyone you would like to see dressed in this Handloom Couture Collection?
So many, actors Sonam Kapoor, Tabu, Madhuri Dixit, women with strong personalities such as Vasundhra Raje, Shabana Azmi.
Any designers who inspire you, besides your mother?
Plenty. I love Manish Arora, Roberto Cavalli, Anita Arora with her handloom works. I learn from everything around me.
You are working with silk currently. Any plans of working with other fabrics?
We are looking at working with weavers from Khadi. But we have to still choose and segregate what we want to do.
What are your future plans?
We plan to develop and penetrate into more weaver communities across India such as the Kutch, Assam and Uppada.
Where you can shop: M-8, Main Road,GK – I, New Delhi, India