All That Jazz: Masaba Gupta Lets Us In On Her Festive Collectionby | November 29, 2019
Completing a decade in the fashion industry is no easy feat, but Masaba Gupta—designer and leader extraordinaire—takes it all in her stride effortlessly. Take 2019, for instance: this year alone, the House of Masaba has collaborated on a beauty collection, created a Game of Thrones line, and just when you thought the Gupta was done, the designer teased a collaboration with friend and stylist Rhea Kapoor.
Amidst all the action, one couldn't miss her recent quirk-induced A/W '19 Festive collection that saw the intricate and vibrant Gond Art of Madhya Pradesh marry Noel Kapnada's Tingtinga painting—a style that is popular in the Oyster Bay area in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. An abundance of florals—the brand's speciality—came through, as did breezy and experimental silhouettes that are a respite for the new-age bride.
Masaba Gupta takes us through her latest collection, its inner workings, her process, the significance of craftsmanship and how it all came together. Excerpts from the interview.
Luxeva: Tell us a bit about the collection.
Masaba Gupta: “This edition sees a metamorphosis of our earlier silhouettes and concepts. The festive collection is embellished with dimensional florals that have been paired with a broad spectrum of colours—shades of electric blues, solid reds, and sunshine yellows. In terms of fabrics, the garments in the collection are brought to life with the richness of silks, organza, taffeta, crushed silks and crepe.”
Luxeva: The collection amalgamates two distinctive art forms - The Gond art of Madhya Pradesh and Noel Kapanda's Tingatinga painting style from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. What about these art forms particularly inspired you?
Masaba Gupta: “It was the fact that Gond Art utilises dots and lines to create mythical creatures, while on the other hand, the Tingatinga style depicts decorative images of birds, animals and daily life through flat and bright colours—both extremely different yet striking elements.”
Luxeva: How did you combine the two individual arts while staying true to your brand sensibility and aesthetic?
Masaba Gupta: “A lot of research goes into putting together the mood board and bringing into play the brand's aesthetic of print-on-print. Combining two distinctive forms can make the prints extremely fun. In the end, it is all about maintaining a visual balance.”
Luxeva: What are some of the standout design elements in this collection? And what would you say are the signature Masaba elements you have incorporated in it?
Masaba: “The collection is a celebration of Indian shapes and forms with garments that strike a balance between body-hugging and conservative silhouettes. While heavy on prints, patterns and motifs, which is the signature Masaba element, this season we have shifted the focus on patchwork and other explorations.”
Luxeva: There is an effortless ease to the collection. Do you think the bridal industry is evolving with brides focusing more on comfort?
Masaba Gupta: “Definitely, brides are opting for easy-going and fuss-free garments that look extremely elegant and vivacious at the same time. As a brand, we have long been associated with altering the perception of the Indian bride by letting her be the creature of comfort she deserves to be.”
Luxeva: The collection highlights craftsmanship in the way of techniques and details used. Do you think the skills and expertise of Indian artisans are being acknowledged by the industry and the consumers?
Masaba: "Definitely. This year saw the revival of several Indian art forms and techniques. I feel that in 2020, we will be witnessing a lot more collections inspired by our traditional roots. With trends shifting at lightning speed, one can definitely expect a modern update to the art forms."
Luxeva: What is your design process typically like? Does it differ for each collection?
Masaba: “The process is fairly simple; it’s all about the research. We start by selecting a theme according to the season and explore various prints and motifs that would personify it best. Then, we work on the treatment and the execution. At the end of the day, we want to create unique pieces while keeping the Indian form and comfort in mind. The process stays the same, more or less; it’s the approach and aesthetic that tend to change from season to season!”
Luxeva: What are you currently working on? Any exciting collaborations in the pipeline that we should know of?
Masaba: “The Masaba X Rhea collection. It is very close to my heart.”
Featured Image: Masaba on Instagram