Titled ‘Aarohanam’, the collection is a play of textiles and intricate embroideries.
January 26, 2024: Indian designer Gaurav Gupta has a way of weaving magic into fabric. He moulds them, pokes them, carves them, and finally adorns them, much like a sculpture. And this was quite apparent in his collection for Spring Summer 2024 at Paris Haute Couture Week.
Titled Aarohanam, a Sanskrit word meaning ascension, the collection is quite indicative of a form of spiritual ascension. Mr. Gupta is inspired by the concept of rising from darkness to light; from reason to innocence.
The official statement reads: It [the word Aarohanam] is letting go of every construct to become one with the natural design of existence…It is reflective of the concept of kundalini - the coiled snake that rests dormant at the base of our spines till it is awakened by the power of deep meditation and intent. That is when the curtain of illusion lifts, the chakras open and the flame ignites.”
Each look in the collection, therefore, is a rendition of this sentiment.
Colours weave the collection together. Black is a metaphor for the absolute nothingness of being. Agni (fire) orange reflects the rising of a flame. Sand represents light, reflection. The ether blue is indicative of the infinity that ascension brings.
A fire orange gown sees ‘flames’ rise up; a golden metal corset atop a black skirt shows the rise to light; and a white gown with a veil rises up to depict calmness.
Cropped jackets, exaggerated capes, fluid trench coats, volumized collars and sculpted metal structures come together to paint surrealism.
Chiffon, woolen suiting, tailored textiles are made richer with indigenous techniques like badla, mukaish and zardozi. Crystals embellish these powerful silhouettes, signifying luminescence. And of course, Mr. Gupta’s signature sculpting art meanders throughout the collection.
The collection is not only a dazzling performance of India’s heritage, talent and craft, but a unique, modern elucidation of an ancient philosophy.