Aartivijay Gupta launched her label AVG in 2009 by debuting at the Dubai Fashion Week as the ‘Emerging Designer. Never compromising on quality and creativity, she is beginning to get noticed (and worn) by the likes of Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, et al. By Aarti Kapur SIngh
Relatively new in the couture crowd, Aartivijay Gupta hails from the slow-and-steady breed of designers. She launched her label AVG in 2009, by debuting at the Dubai Fashion Week as the ‘Emerging Designer’ and has never looked back since. Marking her international runway debut in 2010, the highly talented Gupta captured every fashionista’s imagination with her sleek, quirky, yet elegant and captivating sense of design.
Gupta graduated from the prestigious NIFT, Mumbai, featuring amongst the top 10 finalists of the CIAE International fashion awards. Her debut collection won her many accolades from fashion wizards like Fern Mallis. Gupta’s strength lies in contemporary functional clothing. Lakme Fashion Week’s Summer Resort 2015 saw Gupta complete her fifth season with the prestigious fashion week. Never compromising on quality and creativity, Gupta is beginning to get noticed (and worn) by the likes of Sonam Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, etc.
With each season, Gupta has revealed her keen sense of innovation fused with her contemporary expression, which sets her apart from the herd. She breathes life into her creations with her signature prints and cuts. Her Summer Resort 2015 collection, titled ‘My World of Glass’, is inspired by the intricate artwork of mosaic glass. The designer depicted the beauty of Moroccan mosaic art by infusing elements of nature in the collection. Images of trees, fish, owls, parrots, and peacocks were all a part of her mosaic story. The rectangular, cylindrical and long silhouette story further elevated the essence of the collection by adding a poetic dimension to it. For women, the designer offered jackets, shifts, A-line dresses, shorts paired with bustier and sheer peplum, and even quirky and eye-popping saris. For men, it was jackets and shorts with large floral prints. The gold teal detailing on soft organza pieces, inspired by the gold work on the Moroccan mosaic tea glasses, lent an interesting lustrous feel to the collection.
Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your journey in the world of fashion so far.
Aarti Vijay Gupta (AVG): Label ‘Aartivijay Gupta” was launched in 2009. The USP of my label is contemporary functional clothing. Inspired from everyday objects and art, like rough doodle books, miniature paintings, music, history of world fashion, etc., the label aims to create wearable, comfortable, and statement pieces with easy style. Each piece has a story to tell via print.
How do you define fashion?
AVG: Fashion is something we deal with every day. Even people who say they do not care what clothing they wear, choose clothes every morning that say a lot about them and how they feel that day. Fashion is a language which tells a story about the person who wears it. Clothes create a wordless means of communication that we all understand.
You received great applaud for your first collection by none other than Ritu Kumar. Who has been your icon in the fashion world?
AVG: I have been a huge fan of Hollywood including Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Coco Chanel, and Bollywood inspires me as well. Ritu Kumar has been a great inspiration to me. She made a headstart when fashion was of not much significance and today she is one of the top designers of the country. Her pieces are not only magnificent but also each piece has a story to tell in itself.
In each of your collection, one can catch a glimpse of fusion of heritage with contemporary. Is that your signature style?
AVG: My signature style basically captures the colourful world of designs in the clothes with intricate detailing and the highest level of craftsmanship. Literally, it is like a poetry being woven through this art form. Miniature paintings or Moroccan mosaic tea glasses both have a distinct gold art and some soft organza pieces in the collection have the gold teal work. The luminous quality lends the clothes a distinctive feel and style.
Do you see a fixation with history?
AVG: Every designer draws inspiration from their current scenario and they try to go back to their roots to draw inspiration. Hence, heritage with contemporary makes every designer work on a different idea each time. They use different mood boards and silhouettes to add that zing to their collection.
Your resort collection had a completely different approach. Where exactly do your design sensibilities lie?
AVG: For me fashion is all about making a style statement. Today, anyone can wear my collection and stand out from the crowd. It is because my clothes speak for themselves. My approach towards fashion has always been towards colourful prints, fun, quirky designs and I draw inspiration from different parts of the world. My designs reflect who I am and each piece gives the wearer a feel-good factor.
Please describe your latest collection.
AVG: A burst of colour and opulence to explode on the runway, my collection is inspired by the intricate and delicate work of mosaic from the famed lands of Morocco. This season’s motifs are dominated with interesting wildlife and day-to-day prints like parrots, houses, trees and peacocks. They are both artistic and wearable.
What was the most challenging part in making this collections?
AVG: The challenge was also to replicate the art of my new collection I showcased this season without breaking the pattern in one single garment. Interesting silhouettes like porcelain jar shaped, rectangular wall hanging shaped, and cylindrical bottle shaped straight silhouettes can also be seen throughout the range. It was a challenge to work on the price-points, which are affordable targeting upper-middle and upper class consumers for everyday casual comfortwear line for this collection.
What are your views on the state of affairs in the Indian fashion industry?
AVG: The Indian fashion industry needs the perfect balance of relevance, creativity and business acumen to go international. This is valid for Indian labels going abroad and vice-versa. Having said that, I do believe that there is a demand for contemporary Indian fashion in the West. The fascination with our range of colours and the sensuality of our cuts and silhouettes makes it very exciting to design for the international style-enthusiast.
How has your experience been while dressing celebrities? Do celebrities make good fashion ambassadors?
AVG: In today’s generation, every person looks up to some celebrity for inspiration and motivation. Celebrities have a huge fan-following. Being public figures, they often hire fashion experts to dress up for the multifarious occasions they have to attend at any given point. So they definitely make good fashion ambassadors not only for clothes but for any given product.
What has your growth trajectory taught you?
AVG: Today, fashion is not a trivial pursuit. It is as much about business acumen as it is about creativity.
What will be the focus of your forthcoming collection?
ACG: My forthcoming collection is a vibrant mix of long dresses (gold nakshi work), cape tops, pencil skirts, A-line dresses, sheath dresses in cool subtle designs and prints.
Top trends to follow for 2015?
AVG: Summer is all about enjoying the sun and holidays. However, it is another thing to look trendy in that kind of climate. Opting for the right kind of silhouettes is extremely essential. While jeans are a great option for bottoms, I feel loose pants, A-line skirts, and maxi summer dresses work great during summers. Crop tops with fun prints in a lightweight silk teamed up with fancy bottoms in linens and cottons are also a great idea. Jersey tank dresses are a comfortable and easy way to interpret this trend, as they are light and non-restricting. Sheer tops with cut-off jeans shorts are also a great trend this season.