Gaurang Shah is a fashion force to be reckoned with in the Indian sphere. Having being the celebrated designer at opening night of fashion week, an almost-permanent fixture at Mumbai's Lakme Fashion Week and a success whose designs retail in New York and London, it's almost self-explanatory. Hailing from Hyderabad and renowned for his work in textiles, weaves and handlooms, Gaurang is an absolute breath of fresh air in fashion circles and even prefers textile rather than fashion as a descriptor for his art. His latest collection termed Garam Masala made its way to the ramp earlier this year. It marked his collaboration with Lakme Salon who were on hair with a collection of the same name and witnessed the magnificent Tabu as his showstopper once again. Swirlster chatted with Gaurang Shah on the practicality of clothing and how trends really aren't his thing.
By his own admission, Gaurang says that Garam Masala, which draws inspiration from Indian spices and ingredients like kokum and nutmeg, was almost a sold-out collection. "When they first spoke about the concept of using masalas and their colours, I thought kaisa lagega ye! I couldn't imagine it. But when I saw the models dressed with the hair, I said wow, what a beautiful collaboration," says the designer. Pooja Singh, National Creative Director of Hair at Lakme Salon added, "Spices being a part of an Indian kitchen, we wanted the colours to be accessible and ones they'd be comfortable in. Hair colour is no more about covering grey hair anymore, it's about fashion coverage. Gaurang was clear that the hair had to be done in such a way that any woman seeing it should be able to do it."
While avant garde aesthetics and futuristic trends propel many designers and labels, Gaurang has always been about practicality. "My label has always been about practical clothing. People should be able to relate to it and say, yes mujhe aise karana hai. They shouldn't say, it only looks good in a fashion show, practically I can't wear it." Gaurang, on being asked what he predicts we'll be seeing in traditional wear in the season ahead, says, "It's always sarees, sarees and sarees for me."
It wasn't the first time Tabu brought down the curtain for Gaurang's fashion showcase. "It started with our Hyderabad connection. I wanted poetry to be recited for the show and was clear right from the time I had the concept. Who better than Tabu to recite an urdu poetry?," he signs off.
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