Gaurang Shah's Lakme Fashion Week collection is an ode to all facets of femininity
GAURANG SHAH’S NEW collection Garam Masala — a tapestry of unique jamdani weaves in classic black and white, juxtaposed with red, pink and blue — is all set to arrive at his Hyderabad studio shortly after travelling throughout the country. The homegrown designer has created an exquisite mix of saris, anarkalis, regal kurtas and swirling lehengas. Indulge spoke to the Hyderabad-based revivalist right after his rather poetic presentation at Lakmé Fashion Week. Actress Tabu recited Iqbal Patni’s poem, Aaina Ne Aaj Naya Chehra Dikha Diya, as the models sashayed on the ramp with a violin playing in the background. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What does your new collection symbolise?
Garam Masala was a great way to showcase the traditional styles of India, combining the antiquity with a contemporary outlook. The monochromatic theme of my collection symbolises our daily mundane lives where an ‘out of the ordinary’ experience adds flavour to our lives and makes it interesting, just like the pinch of garam masala when it is added to our food. The collection was in collaboration with Lakmé Salon.
Q: Can you take us through the mood board and colour palette?
The colour white stands for purity and tranquillity and the black stands for the confidence, and strength that every woman possesses. The significant types of ingredients that go into making garam masala are in the colour palette, in addition to a swash of deep red, beige, pomegranate pinks, and blues on motifs or borders.
Q: Where did you source your fabric from?
The weaves are from the handloom clusters of Kanchi from Tamil Nadu, Benaras from Uttar Pradesh, Patan from Gujarat, Kota from Rajasthan, Puttapakka from Telangana, Uppada, Khadi from Andhra Pradesh, Paithani from Maharashtra, jamdani from West Bengal, and Kani from Kashmir.
Q: Can you please elaborate on the weaving techniques and embellishments used?
Our textiles encompassed weaving, embroidery and a variety of surface techniques which can take over six months to create and are wearable masterpieces. To give an example, for the Dhakai jamdani sari in Garam Masala, we used a fine count (300) khadi yarn that took a year to be woven. The yarn is so fine that you won’t see it clearly with the naked eye. It’s delicate, lightweight and involved surface techniques finished with subtlety. For another sari, it took two years just to design the Parsi French knot floral embroidery border. Lavish volumes of the fabric have gone into some of the lehengas and anarkalis. In some of the pieces, we have used up to 10 metres of fine cotton. We also liberally added an extra flare to add a splash of grandeur.
Q: How important was it to have Tabu as the show stopper for the Lakmé launch?
Tabu was an instantaneous choice for me. She lent perfect synergy to the theme that I had visualised for Garam Masala. Her charismatic voice, as she recited the poetry, and the graced with which she walked the ramp with a black Kanjeevaram ghagra paired with Patan dupatta was magical.
Q: What was the inspiration behind making Iqbal Patni’s poem an integral part of your showcase? What does it symbolise?
The theme is an ode to womanhood. It is a reflection of every woman’s inner being, her personality and sensibilities for a distinctive style and appeal. The idea behind crafting the poem was to also echo the diverse, multi-tasking character of a woman.
Q: This was also the first time your daughters made a stage debut...
It was their love for my work, my appreciation for their belief in what I do, and their passion to learn and know Indian textiles. We were in search of ways to complement each other, and this happened.
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