Designer Manish Gupta, who unveils his new collection in the city today, on why luxury means a lot to him
Manish Gupta picked up the threads of design with a rare commitment. Despite a head start at the Pearl Academy, where he passed out winning two awards, the young designer was not in a hurry to launch his eponymous line. He interned with the diva of design Ritu Beri before he went on to work with fashion front man Rohit Bal. As if the experience weren't enough, he joined enterprising duo Abhishek and Nandita to learn the nuances of merchandising. So by the time he went solo in 2007, he had not just mastered the art of fashion, but was also totally clued in to its commerce.
On the eve of launching Manish Gupta Luxury and Spring-Summer 2010 lines in Chennai (at Collage, Greams Road), he explains why he loves playing with the idiom of intricacies. “To me luxury is not just about cut, colour and fabric; it's about hand-crafted finesse. So, I personally check every stitch in the garments despatched from my studio. If something's not all right, we rip it apart, and do it all over again!”
Departing from his understated aesthetic, Gupta brings a dash of bling to the luxury line. “While my Spring-Summer line is so me in terms of styling and colour, for the Luxury line that spells ostentation, I've used jewel tones and elaborate embellishment.” With floaty layers and interesting silhouettes, the line includes angarkas and complete ensembles.
A master of textures, Gupta's Mystical Weaves (his Spring-Summer 2010 collection) showcased at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, is a showcase of his skill. Deftly cut dresses and sleek tunics (the look is completed with leggings and stole!) give full scope to his craft-driven metier. “Texturing is my USP. I use fabric tapes to arrive at interesting finishes. It's classy — not in your face.”
In reminiscent mode, the designer says, “When I started out, people were sceptical about whether my designs would work. I was downright finicky when it came to finish, so the price tags were really high. It took a while for the fashion fraternity and the public to understand the nitty-gritty of my design. Now, they are convinced about the work that goes into each creation — and of course the price points!”
Gupta's penchant for form comes from his love for architecture. “I wanted to become an architect, but found design to be my calling. Architecture inspires my lines. I love travelling and looking out for interesting buildings,” says the New Delhi-based designer, who plans to get into interior design soon.
(Manish Gupta Luxury will be on show at Collage till March 12).