New Delhi-based designer Manish Gupta on his festive line for Chennai

Ever since Manish Gupta launched his eponymous line in 2007, he’s been quite a style-setter in the New Delhi fashion circuit. Having embraced the energy and edge of urban styling from top designers, including Rohit Bal, before he made it on his own, the young designer’s USP has evolved.

Ahead of the launch of his new line in Chennai, at Collage, Gupta speaks about his unspoken bond with work-intensive crafts. “Textures and needle work have fascinated me. I try to incorporate them subtly in all my work. Since most of the work is tonal, I pick my fabrics and create textures in such a way the work stands out.”

Manish’s collection for Chennai comprises both ethnic and Western clothes. “I’m doing a festive line for the first time. It’s called ‘Interpreting the Festive’. Celebration is the essence of the line as the festival season is around the corner. It’s about colour and ‘essential’ bling. Moss, ruby and mustard are some of the colours. I’ve used silk, silk-cotton and brocade to create ensembles. I’ve veered away from traditional cuts and given them a fresh spin.”

As for his regular Western line of dresses, Gupta tempers bold new looks with clean lines. Well structured with panels, the dresses are seemingly simple. But Gupta’s artistic flourishes give the garments a distinct look. “I’ve used satin tape and feel-good floral jali work in wispy fabrics such as silks and georgettes. It involves painstaking work.”

For the upcoming Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (October 2009), Gupta is working on special weaves and textures. “Such experiments can make a big difference to modern silhouettes.”

Having worked with design aces Abhishek Gupta, Nandita Basu and Rohit Bal, he says, each has contributed immensely to his evolving aesthetic. “I learnt finesse and finish from Abhishek and Nandita. At Bal’s studio, I learnt the importance of creative freedom as a designer. With freedom comes creativity. Because, ultimately good design is about autonomy.”

Conjuring up a new line every season isn’t a big deal for Gupta because he draws inspiration from everything around him. “It can be anything — architecture or flora and fauna. Simple ideas can spur refreshing lines.”

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Krithika ReddyMay 11, 2012