With the show starting 51 minutes behind schedule, one could be forgiven for expecting the last-minute arrival of one of Gaurav Gupta’s famous fans, who include Beyoncé and Cardi B. Last season, the latter kept the crowd waiting nearly an hour.
It was not to be, but there were plenty of showstoppers on the runway as the self-described “futuristic primitive” designer showed for his third season in Paris.
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Named “Aarohanam” after the notion of an ascending scale in Indian music, Gupta combined the futuristic pleated and lifted sculptural pieces he is best known for with a newer direction. Cue dramatic, heavily embellished tailoring featuring structured shoulders and corsetry details, paired with pleated dhoti pants or fluid draped skirts. His embroideries, employing 20 different traditional techniques from India, gave a textured irregularity and a jagged snakeskin effect to his embellished bolero jackets.
Kundalini snakes — a reference to the sacred feminine in Indian philosophy — were a constant, their sinuous forms suggested in the sweeping swirls of his signature designs, which included a bridal gown with a train that swept the width of the aisle of the American Cathedral, his venue for the season.
Cast-metal pieces evoked serpents and birds as adornments; a molten golden bodice encased the chest like armor, and symbolic medallions held a draped black jersey dress together at the chakra points. In silver, his designs evoked shifting sand or molten lava, with sculpted protrusions emerging from the flow of embroidered fabric over a shoulder or hip. A vivid red evoked the rising flames of the fire within, with designs including a dramatic embroidered crop top that extended to gloved hands.
Launch Gallery: Gaurav Gupta Couture Spring 2024
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