Sam Smith wore an inflatable latex jumpsuit at the Brit Awards

Gaurav Gupta’s 25-Year Dream at Haute Couture Week: Predictions for Fashion & Models

Nearly 20 years after launching his eponymous brand, Indian fashion designer Gaurav Gupta made his hotly anticipated debut at Paris Haute Couture Week on Thursday.

The prestigious event’s recognition of Gupta signals the growing international status of a couturier who has long been beloved by his Bollywood clientele. This past year has seen the designer’s profile sky rocket, with his sculptural creations worn by global A-list stars, including Lizzo andKylie Minogue.

At last year’s Oscars, rapper Megan Thee Stallion donned a slate-blue, body-hugging gown, custom-designed by Gupta, that featured a dramatic train flowing out like delicate waves. He said that the media coverage was very beautiful and that he was able to meet many new people.

Haute Couture Week is a biannual spectacle at which the most exclusive fashion — garments painstakingly made by hand and sold at eye-watering prices — is sent down runways in front of star-studded audiences. Gupta heard that his brands had been selected to show at the event when he boarded the plane and was about to take off.

“It was very dramatic,” he said. For the next two hours, I was crying and looking outside on the plane. We were just this couturier, and this is history happening in front of my eyes. This dream has been 25 years in the making — ever since I started working in fashion.”


Gaurav Gupta-Paris-Haute Couture Week: Dressing a Bollywood Star with a Concept-Driven Indian Concept

After graduating from London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Gupta founded his label in 2005. His brother Saurabh joined the operation early on. They grew the business and opened five boutiques in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad, and frequently dressed Bollywood stars.

Gupta’s high-concept collections came in more subdued, subverting what was sold in the Indian market at the time. It took a while to convert what he showed on the runway to commercial sales.

“Being a very concept-driven brand in a very traditional market was not the easiest. Over the years, I’ve found a balance of how to make wearable concepts,” he said.

Merging what it calls “indigenous Indian construction and embellishing techniques,” the label describes itself as “Indian at its core.” Gupta’s popular item is his high- fashion take on the sari gown. The traditional Indian garment is a rectangular fabric wrapped around the body in a number of styles and he explains that his version transforms it into something much more sexy.

Gupta said, “We’re going to be stocked with the best players in the market.” “It’s been a nice progression of having celebrity collaborations — cultural collaborations, is what I’d like to call them — and (in parallel) have our agents do sales. It’s a 360-degree plan.”


Gupta and the Places: A Catalogue of Sculpted Versatile Dresses from a Cosmological Conspiral

The world became infinitely large when zero was discovered. Gupta said that time was no longer linear, and that explorations of space and time inspired the collection.

There were a number of silhouettes in sexy textured fabrics at the runway show. Several looks featured swan-like wings that twisted around models’ shoulders and hips before trailing onto the floor. The outfits were sculpted using the label’s embellishing techniques and embroidered with crystals, giving each dress a lively sense of place.

An eruption of indigo, electric-blue pieces followed. Strong statements in their own right, each look was designed head-to-toe in the same hue and paired with matching legging boots that seemed to fit the models like a second skin.

There was a parade of nude-illusion dresses that had black adornments strategically placed over top of sheer, skin-toned tulle. They followed by pops of color, in the form of silver, black and neon yellow dresses. A succession of black and gold creations then concluded the show.


Sam Smith’s Look of the Week at Pillai — A Story of Two Lives, One Persistent, Undulating Pieces

“There’s a sense of fluid form, maximalism, the techniques and craftsmanship — all of that is Indian. I want to challenge the perception of the words ‘India’ or ‘Indianness.'”

The ‘Look of the Week’ is a weekly series dedicated to unpacking the most talked about outfits of the last seven days.

Surrealist silhouettes have already become a HARRI trademark, with air used to inflate circus-like designs and create a cartoonish, ballooning sense of volume. The pieces are made to move. At the label’s Spring-Summer 2023 London Fashion Week presentation, Pillai enlisted dancers and mini-trampolines to demonstrate the clothes in motion. Smith, teetering on a pair of custom Valentino platforms, strutted across the red carpet in similarly mesmeric form.

The musician’s look took 4 days for Pillai to make, and it was one of his most ambitious garments to date. (In previous collections, the designer had stuck to only inflating the lower body). The undulating shapes were originally inspired by Pillai’s dog, Kai. “I started thinking about (it) from my dog’s point of view,” he said in an interview with the British talk show Good Morning Britain. “How we saw me from such a small, short angle. It is similar to a distorted body image.

While Smith may not have taken home a Brit Award, they certainly still left an impact. To many fashion fans, the outfit resembled that of another powerful gender-defying dresser. David Bowie wore a jumpsuit designed by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto during his international tour in 1973. The flamboyant garment acted as an optical illusion, and the artist looked preposterously bow-legged whenever he crouched. The larger-than-life geometric creations of Yamamoto were used to make the stage presence and characters of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane.


Androgyny in Pink Crop Tops and Skirts: a Reflection on the Fate of Subversion

Similarly, Pillai’s designs are a hypnotic reminder that subversion isn’t the only path to gender-fluid fashion. There is more to androgyny than the current trends ofcis-men in pink crop tops and skirts.

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