Delhi based designer Asha Gupta is known for her bespoke bridal couture. Established in 1998, her label Vinayak Couture now ashagautam has garnered much appreciation and adorned by many. Having no formal education in fashion, Gupta with her passion for creativity has earned a respectable name in the fashion industry.
In year 2003, her son Gautam Gupta — an alumi from NIFT joined the label in retaining the essence of his mother’s vision and took the brand forward by giving it a contemporary appeal. The brand has seen many milestones with Gautam’s curiosity to innovate and experiment with unique blends of textures and hand-woven weaves. Excerpts:
Q. How does your label ensure that each collection comes out unique?
Working on textiles and textures are the first aspects that come to our mind after we finalise on the looks we want to keep the collection. As a brand, we focus a lot on creating handmade textiles by blending different yarns and playing with motifs.
Lot of research goes behind where we see those changes in the lifestyle of people around and the aspirations of the millennial and on the basis of this research and our own signature look we start with the collection.
We start working on textiles a year ahead as it takes two to three months for us to get those handmade textiles for our collection. We then try to play with different materials to enhance the textiles and make it look more formal.
Q. What, according to you, are going to be the biggest bridal trends of 2018?
Monotones, flared lehengas, fusion style blouses and capes over lehengas, floral motifs, non-convention colours such as indigo, coral, apple green, icy blue, among others.
Also the bride today wants to wear something comfortable so we will see more of thread work instead of just zardosi. The style will balance with opulence; layers, ruffles and fusion based silhouettes will be the biggest trend.
Q. Does your brand believe in fusion with contemporary styles, or do you stick to traditions with wedding wear?
We are elaborating from traditional to fusion wear as a brand. We want to position our brand as vintage with style. Our brand is known for its vintage masterpieces so we want to surely expand it further by adding more clusters, right now we work with five clusters for those masterpieces.
This collaboration helps in developing fusion-based silhouettes as well. Our endeavour is to have the rarest crafts with us and at the same time, we want to create designs for millennial.
Q. How does employing indigenous craftsman enhance the quality of your label?
We have worked with some of the best master craftsmen over the period of two decades. The kind of network we have helps us to do something new with those vintage techniques.
When most labels started to focus on western wear we stick to our roots by working on these masterpieces. Handloom pieces are made with time so one needs to plan well ahead and believe in slow and sustainable fashion.
Q. Which is your personal favourite piece from the Autpattika collection?
I will pick two; one is sea green Banarasi linen lehenga and the other georgette tissue lehenga. The two textiles are not only summer friendly but a right balance of sheen and comfort.
We always wanted to develop something exclusive for the summer wedding. We started working on them a year back; therefore, it is very special to us.
Q. Being a brand run by someone with no formal education in fashion, how much difference does it make to have a degree in something one is passionate about?
Two decades back things were manageable and one had the time to learn on the field. You make mistakes and learn from it. However, a degree is very important as it makes you understand things faster especially with things changing so fast that one has to be really skilled to manage the changing times.
One needs to be perfect in everything and formal education helps in that.
Though creativity is something which cannot be thought but nurtured so formal education will help you in that.
True that passion and attitude comes first but you need to have a formal education and training to get the work done especially at this age and stage.
Unfortunately, my mother couldn’t get the time but I did a course from NIFT to learn things realising that it is the need of the hour.