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The Princess of Print: Designer Masaba Gupta on her inspirations for prints

Designer Masaba Gupta on her inspirations for prints and her take on bridal wear.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind | New Delhi | Updated: September 1, 2014 1:28:40 pm
Masaba Gupta; a design from her new collection Masaba Gupta

As Fashion Director for Satya Paul, Masaba Gupta is known to make her prints do the talking. The label’s Autumn-Winter 2014 collection is now available in stores. Called “Icarus”, the collection was first showcased at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2014, and, as Gupta explains, is a light-hearted take on prints and its engagement with the garment. The saris are particularly eye-catching, with the clever use of “interactive” prints . For instance, the image of a scissor and two hands gives the impression of the sari being cut into two. “The idea came when I was in the workshop and saw the master tailor cutting a piece of fabric,” says Gupta.

Wanting to break away from the graphic art prints that Satya Paul has been dishing out, Gupta says she was keen to add an element of fun and youthfulness. The inspiration, she admits, comes from the world around her. “I recently got my bathroom renovated and came across wooden planks that the carpenter had numbered for his reference. I looked at it as a print,” she says. In the new collection, one sees bottles pouring out water, hands knitting, even dripping taps splashed across the various silhouettes. “The prints at Satya Paul were getting staid. So I started with the lipstick print and decided to continue the fun with cheerful elements,” says Gupta, who can be credited for infusing quirky prints in Indian fashion.

No surprise, her famous palm and camera prints remain the most copied works in the world of fabrics. “I don’t get upset about it anymore. Fakes haven’t really made a dent in my business,” says Gupta, narrating an incident that happened with her friend Gautam Sinha, Creative Director of Nappa Dori, a brand of leather luggage and accessories. “Gautam was looking for some fabric for his trunks and came across a shopkeeper who showed him his version of Masaba prints. According to the shopkeeper, Masaba was a city that dished out such prints,” she says.

“I have never taken myself seriously and don’t get it when critics base their argument on the fact that I am successful because I have celebrity parents,” says Gupta. There’s also the criticism that she’s obsessed with prints. “I think it’s a trend of the moment and will
make way for something else soon. But I want to make the most of it,” says Gupta.

Her latest collection for her signature label, showcased at Lakme Fashion Week recently, comes as a pleasant surprise as she has worked with nude hues. “I will be playing with pastels for my Spring-Summer 2015 collection as well,” she says.

Given the fact that the wedding season is round the corner, Masaba says she would love to dress up a new-age bride. “I would love to design a lehenga that can be pinned up when the bride wants to hit the dance floor. Also, I love traditional Kerala saris in white, and would like to use them with a pop of colour,” she says. Admitting that Bollywood and bling never go out of fashion, Gupta is keen to take her affordable Masaba Lite line further.

“It started as an experiment but given the response, especially to the accessories, I am excited about taking it further,” she says.

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