Knit wit: Fabric innovation at the soul of Gaurav Jai Gupta's Irreverence collection
Featuring exotic and experimental studio textiles, Gaurav Jai Gupta’s Winter/Festive collection has metallic weaves and wool
His training at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in Woven Textiles has helped him do what he does best today — create contemporary woven studio textiles.Experimenting with craft-based textiles and unconventional materials, Gaurav Jai Gupta has created a story that stands apart from his counterparts who continue to dabble with sustainable fashion. And nothing less could be expected from the man during his showcase on Day 2 at the Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2017 edition. Known for creating a unique textile of stainless steel fabric, his brand, Akaaro, has long been associated with its unusual experiments with weaves fashioned out of merino wool, silks, zari and metal. This time as well, his collection, Irreverence, brought together a variety of fabrics that featured Gupta’s distinctive weave.
His third collection since Mumuksha (which he unveiled at Amazon Indian Fashion Week in 2015), “Irreverence is part of a series that includes seeking knowledge, differentiating it, and finally challenging the structures that try to keep you from succeeding. My collections are an embodiment of my personal experiences and the state of flux of things around us — political and social. The collection stems from a place where you question every structure and will challenge everything just to come into your own,” Gaurav says. Irreverence showed handwoven fabrics developed from blends of wool and khadi, wool and silk, wool and zari, cotton and metal with ikat weaves and satin in wool and metal.
Weave shall overcome
Firm in his belief of being a weaver first, the collection steers clear of prints and embellishments with the focus solely on the textile. The fabrics, which were exclusively woven at the Akaaro studios in Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, and for the first time in Haryana, (Panipat) showcased the designer’s favourite — stripes, checks and other circular motifs. The collection featured merino wool, silk and metal saris with checks or ikat weaves and subtle striped detailing, while jackets, cover-ups, capes, skirts, blouses, trousers, pants and culottes were presented as separates. Dominated by deep shades, the collection, which majorly featured charcoal blacks and glazed metal, also has brighter hues like teal, red and blue.
The collection stems from a place where you question every structure and will challenge everything just to come into your own
Pay it forward
As a newer crop of designers like Pot Plant, Poochki, Verandah and others move towards sustainability and slow fashion, Gaurav Jai Gupta believes that textile art is the way forward with the focus shifting from motifs and prints to fabric design innovation. The designer, whose W/F 2017 collection is supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is currently working on three collections — a Spring/ Summer collection set to release in October or November, a Winter collection which will be out in March 2018 and a Winter/ Festive line for August 2018. “Going forward from here, we are experimenting with prints and are also working on a bridal wear collection,” he concludes.
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