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Diana Penty looked gorgeous as she sashayed down the ramp for Gaurav Gupta at the FDCI India Couture Week 2019, presented by Hindustan Times. She was joined by the influencer Diipa Büller-Khosla, who became the first social media influencer to walk down the ramp as a showstopper. They wore signature outfits by Gaurav Gupta and looked impressive.
While we loved their ensembles and felt the outfits fitted well in the contemporary market, we didn't feel their ensembles were too avant-garde or groundbreaking. Diana Penty's ensemble particularly seemed like a usual number from the designer. Diipa's voluminous gown still looked different but only in terms of silhouette. Diana and Diipa's ensembles were every inch couture and costume but then their outfits were almost similar to those presented by the designer previously.
Actually, after seeing the collection, the second point that comes to mind is how much can an Indian designer do given the market structure in India? You see, when designer with similar aesthetics, Amit Aggarwal, opened the India Couture Week this time, he gave us a refreshing collection but at the same time, he kept his design sensibility alive with architectural and futuristic ensembles. However, the designer had been criticised on the grounds that his ensembles were more costume than couture - they lacked the wearability factor. But as a designer, we believe there is always an aspiration to go beyond the usual, so yes, Amit Aggarwal did a great job there. But is the Indian market ready to digest avant-garde? And hence we often wonder whether a designer, Gaurav Gupta for now, practice restraint in order to satiate the demands of conformist Indian market?
Although we must say, that when Gaurav Gupta first introduced sculptural outfits, he gave us a fresh perspective and we thought that here is an Indian designer, who has marked his own territory. But now, over the years, novelty is fading and we want something more from the designer, who is a visionary. His India Couture Week 2019 collection, 'Undercurrent' marked his 15 years in the industry but we expected a shift from the usual this time. Apart from his pantsuit ensembles and understated menswear, we couldn't see anything really new or a lot of difference. Let's see what Gaurav Gupta has for us in store for future (because post seeing Huma Qureshi's white-hued Cannes 2019 sari, we were expecting a lot more). Here are glimpses from Gaurav Gupta's show.