I don't let themes determine my designs: Masaba Gupta

Mar 15, 2015, 08:00 IST | Ananya Ghosh

Says designer Masaba Gupta who is all set to showcase her designs in a first-of-its-kind Instagram show at the Lakme Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015

It's not even been a week since she got engaged to producer Madhu Mantena and Masaba Gupta, known for her colourful and quirky garments, is already back in action preparing for her Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) show.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q. Tell us about your collection for LFW this season.
A. The theme of the collection is candy crush, so you will see colours and prints inspired by candies. It is primarily a pastel palette with dollops of chocolate browns, gold, baby pinks and lemons. But there are also some deeper hues such as maroons, deep browns, deep reds and more. This is the first time I am experimenting with such a theme. Even the prints are a bit surreal — we have taken inspiration from toffees, striped candies, and peppermints.

Masaba Gupta
Masaba Gupta 

Q. Why an Instagram show?
A. The whole world is on Instagram today. Anybody can be part of the show sitting in the comfort of his or her home. It is not that you are just uploading the pictures randomly; it is being treated as an offsite show. I found that interesting. It should be fun as we would be able to play with the backdrop and the lighting.

Q. What is the USP of the collection?
A. My USP has always been my print. Earlier, I experimented a lot with digital and denser prints. But I think what people like is more bold stuff from me. So, we are going back to that this season. We have very bold prints — some are almost 3D. My colour palette has a universal appeal — it doesn't scream, but at the same time, has a distinct voice. The USP of a Masaba outfit is that you can spot one even in a crowd.

An illustration of one of her recent creations
An illustration of one of her recent creations 

Q. You work a lot with traditional Indian fabrics, such as cotton and muslin. Yet, you manage to give them an unconventional twist...
A. I have always been interested in raw and organic material. Even when I was in college, I used to love wearing muslin. Later, I took it up as my fabric of choice as it catches colour really well, prints beautifully and looks great even when it is crushed. But, I really don't try too hard to create something different, or break my head over making sense of a collection. I don't let themes determine my designs — for me it is the other way round. My designs are reflections of my style. Maybe it is this spontaneity that makes my work unique.

Q. How did you develop your signature style?
A. When I began my career, doing prints was not common. It is my childhood that shaped my design aesthetics. For the palm print fabrics that has since become part of my signature style, the inspiration came from a wall painting that I had grown up watching every day. Since the day I was born, every year, my mom (actress Neena Gupta) would put alta (red dye women in eastern India use to paint their feet) on my feet and palm and take prints on a paper. Later, she made a collage of these and got it framed. Her sartorial style as well as my dad's (West Indian cricketer, Viv Richards) Caribbean roots are also reflected in my works.

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