Gaurang Shah's latest collection Sindoori is every bride's dream
Witness the grandeur of hand-woven and handcrafted textiles come together in the latest bridal edit by ace designer Gaurang Shah
By his own admission, Tamil Nadu’s ancient teples and architecture offer a spectacular design canvas, and traditional motifs, inspired by the sculptures of South Indian temples, floral and geometrics drawn from nature have been the hallmark of every piece he creates.
The cultural richness of Chennai and the timeless admiration for Indian hand-woven textiles draws Hyderabad based designer Gaurang Shah to the city. Known as the master of weaves, the self-taught designer is a household name for his creations of the traditional sari with a modern twist. For Gaurang though, he admires Chennai’s fashion sensibility when it comes to traditional attire for special and festive occasions like weddings.
Ahead of his visit to the city with his latest 2022 collection called Sindoor, we speak to the designer about all things Chennai can expect at the show. “The autumnal dawn brings with it colours of earth, sky and fire, reflecting the latest 2022 collection, Sindoor. Vermillion, in all its shades, has been a part of Hindu traditions for time immemorial. These shades live harmoniously in our lives. From ochre to crimson, ruby to burgundy, I have used shades of red to make this collection,” he says, adding, “the grandeur of hand-woven and handcrafted textiles that come together in this bridal edit will be there to witness at my showcase in Chennai.”
With the wedding season just around the corner, the Sindoor collection offers a plethora of choices. Traditional rich weaves like kanjivaram, paithani, banarasi, kota, uppada, khadi, and muslin are used with intricate gara, kasuti, aari, chikan and kutchi embroidery. These dynamic crafts have been balanced with surface textures of bandhani, shibori, patachitra, kalamkari, and cheriyal paintings. The collection is a confluence of varied crafts, never imagined together before. Contemporary brides with an eye for revivalist handcraft will love to be a part of this journey toward sustainability.
At Gaurang x Collage, one can view a curation of heritage textiles and heirloom pieces. “My collections always carry a signature, distinctive style that blends heritage weaves with contemporary sensibilities, so a traditional weave like jamdani gains universal appeal. I have been in awe of India’s heritage textiles and heirloom pieces since I was a child and grew up watching my mother wear exquisite saris. So, when I sit down for my design inspiration and eventually draw it, I visualise it to carry timeless appeal and work that lasts for generations,” Gaurang shares.
Ask him if Chennai has had an influence on his craft and he tells us, “My ensembles represent the ancient weaving techniques of India, inspired by its temple architecture, artisans, craftsmanship and its heritage. I admire the works of art, on both canvas and textiles by the masters of ancient temple design, and their mastery in weaving, besides the art and architecture of Chennai.”
Two decades ago, the weaving community was festered with boring floral designs, colours and yarns. Gaurang consciously brought back the korvai weaving technique in pure zari, elaborate temple designs and traditional designs with borders as broad as 20 inches. These saris were festive favourites for centuries and known for their vibrant colours and graphic designs which borrow from the profusion of temple motifs like the ceremonial pot of rice, the trumpeting elephant, the peacock and the geometric patterns. “I was the first designer in India to showcase kanjivarams at the fashion week on a national level following which the fashion industry witnessed a strong trend for draping handlooms,” he says.
That aside, Gaurang admits he loves being inventive and continuously inspires himself with designs that are alluring. “It feels great when my customers aspire and want more of my work to adorn their wardrobes.” We, of course, didn’t miss checking with Gaurang about changing trends in fashion, and he shares, “Trends are temporary, what leaves an impact is the timeless appeal. For me, the sari will continue to be the go-to shopping clothing for millions of women, globally.”
Price on request. December 7 and 8. 11 am to 7.30 pm. At Collage.