‘Fashion is meant for everyone’

Amrita Prasad
Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Designer Masaba Gupta, who launched her store in the city, talks about inclusive fashion, breaking barriers, campaigns and other things.

She is like any other 28-year-old — vivacious, witty, vibrant, affable. But Masaba Gupta, one of the leading designers in our country, also inspires women through her campaigns. Recently, she was in Pune for the launch of her store at Phoenix MarketCity, Viman Nagar. The designer was hosted by city-based fashion curator and owner of Rudraksh, Rasika Wakalkar.

Walking into the store in a flowy grey and black slip dress and a jacket from her own collection, and accessorising it with hoop earrings and casual chappals, Masaba looked radiant and charming. Talking about her collection, which includes festive and casual wear and her Tiger Lily spring/ summer collection, the flamboyant designer, who is known for her prints, and creating a blend of contemporary and traditional outfits, said,

“We have accessories, clothing in denims, festive pieces, diaries etc. Pune being a slightly different market and a smaller city, and the fact that a lot of people travel to Mumbai to shop — there are pieces that are easy buys at the Pune store. ” 

On tradition and culture 
Recently, Masaba unveiled her wedding collection on Instagram. Delicate mint florals with her signature pink and foil print motifs make it delightful bridal wear. The models can also be seen wearing pink and even white sindoor. 

While Masaba is a liberated young woman, she has a deep respect for Indian traditions too. “I see a lot of people asking young women, ‘Why are you wearing sindoor?’ or ‘Why are you wearing so much of it and making your look so traditional?’ I find that a bit odd because women wearing sindoor is such a big part of our culture and our tradition. I just wanted to make it a little cooler, hipper and younger. A lot of newlywed brides shy away from wearing sindoor because they think it to be very dated and something that an older bride would wear. I thought why not make it more chic so we introduced this hot pink and white sindoor. You can embrace sindoor in any way or any colour you like. You can wear it as a tikka or all the way through,” she explained. Masaba, who was inspired by Anushka Sharma’s wedding reception look in Delhi, says it was the trigger for this campaign. 

From Kareena Kapoor Khan to Sonam Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty Kundra and other Bollywood celebs have been wearing Masaba’s outfits. However, she hasn’t yet designed for a Bollywood  film. 

Fashion for all  
Masaba has been breaking barriers in many ways and her spring/ summer 2018 collection — Tiger Lily, is an example of this. The collection also features a grey and white hijab-sari with tribal prints all over it, making saree and draping style more inclusive and flexible. 

About fashion becoming more progressive, she says that she’s happy that fashion, not just in India, but globally too has become inclusive. “Very large labels are using models of all shapes and sizes. Beauty brands too are becoming all-embracing as they are showing women in the real state as much as possible. I think at some level, brands across the world have started to feel that if they alienate a certain section of the population/ audience, they will suffer both creatively and commercially,” said Masabsa adding that today one can see a lot more campaigns with diverse people and that’s quite exciting. 

“Fashion is meant for everyone — it is not about a model or a big woman. Also, I feel that we need to speak out about skinny shaming. Brands are taking this initiative and it only will get better. Also, we will truly evolve as a country, if we stop to endorse fairness creams in India,” she said. 

Women being bullied 
Masaba has always raised her voice on many occasions including the firecracker ban and was shamed too. She grew up being bullied in school for more reasons more than one. “As a woman, you can’t win and I get that a lot, for not just body issues, but also for being opinionated. If I take a stand or stay silent on Instagram, I get shamed. I feel men get away with a lot of things, which women can’t. Women are expected to dress a certain way for every occasion and so on. That said, changes can’t happen overnight, it has to happen slowly over generations and if each generation has one icon that takes it on as a message like the #MeToo campaign, maybe slowly things will change,” she said. 

What’s in vogue 
When asked about the latest trends of 2018, she said that yellow as a colour has really jumped in on the scene.  “People are embracing a lot of colour block, and vibrant colours like yellows with pinks, purples with yellows, purples with reds, purples with mints are in. And of course, ultra violet is the Pantone shade of the year. So that’s going to make a pretty big impact on fashion trends this year,” she said.

Talking about trends, we couldn’t help but ask her about the growing popularity of airport look. “The one and only trend that I see getting bigger is the airport look. We get requests for airport looks more than we get for events and I keep wondering ‘where are these people going?’ It is crazy! When I get off a plane, I don’t even think about combing my hair and just want to reach home. That said, there are stylists who create these looks which I think is incredible. But I think anything that is comfortable and laidback is going to be a huge trend and the airport look is on top of the list and it can be anything, from casual, to sporty, etc,” said Masaba who too loves comfort clothing. 

Brands across the world have started to feel that if they alienate a certain section of the population/ audience, they will suffer both creatively and commercially.
—  Masaba Gupta

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