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ICW 2020: Gaurav Gupta's Show 'Name Is Love' Is About Discovering Brave Stories From Young India

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Gaurav Gupta, known for his sculptural silhouettes, opened India's first-ever fashion digital show with FDCI's India Couture Week 2020. It was a much-anticipated show because the challenge remained for the designer to present his collection on a digital format, unlike the regular runways, where models walked the ramp with critics and celebrities on the front row, followed by a press conference, and reflective conversations over wine. With a digital format, the show was more theatrical but with a cinematic effect. It was theatrical for it merged the runway walks with expressions and actions normally not seen and because there's wasn't a direct in-person contact/viewing by the audience following the safety norms amid coronavirus pandemic, the show had a detached effect of the cinema.

As far as the digital presentation of his show is concerned, Gaurav Gupta's show didn't disappoint. On the contrary, it addressed inclusivity and the designer for his part, presented the concept meticulously and sensitively. The show titled, Name Is Love streamed at sharp 8 pm on 18th September 2020 at the FDCI (Fashion Design Council Of India's) social media handles. In case you haven't viewed the articulate presentation of inclusivity by the designer, you can on his Instagram handle too. His digital show aimed at celebrating love in an encompassing and liberating way. Following a new wave of social change in India, the designer showed love for self, all genders, all body shapes, all ethnicities, and all sexualities. He did so by showing the models from different backgrounds, genders, non-binary, and more. Gaurav Gupta took to his Instagram feed to share, 'While casting for Name Is Love, we discovered brave stories of a young India. And are honoured to represent their courage, their candour and their endearing vulnerability.'

The models included Anjali Lama, who is a trans-female supermodel; Tarun, a non-binary model; Nitya, a body-positive woman; Vee, a trans-male model; two boys in love with each other, Rudra And Anurag; two girls in love with each other, Manauti and Anjali. The designer's eponymous brand celebrated all kinds of love and also, Gaurav Gupta discovered confident and models-with-potential from Jharkhand, Haryana, and Assam. Also, what we loved was the flow of his short digital presentation. It is rather inexplicable but there was something so natural about the way the designer showed inclusivity and none of the models looked uncomfortable. Moreover, they spoke out their names with such a conviction that it gave us goosebumps. Adding to that, the most noteworthy aspect of the show was that it was inclusive in terms of the audience because from beaches to mountains to tropical lands, to coastal areas, anyone with Instagram or Facebook had an access to this beautiful concept. Directed by Gaurav Gupta with the concept and creative direction by Sandeep Gill and film by Indra Joshi, the show was amazing. The music (piano and composition) by Sahil Vasudeva and poetry and recitation by Navkirat Sodhi was phenomenal.

Watching it for the second time, the attention area was now 'outfits'. He incorporated his signature and futuristic folded sculpted outfits for women with surreal ruffles and wings. His different ensembles for women splashed in the shades of dark green, crimson red, soft golden, champagne hue, and more were certainly architectural. While we did see an interesting off-white and black beautifully ruffled short dress but mostly his outfits for women consisted of long gowns and edgy separates, which highlighted the demands of the Indian wedding market. However, we missed the red and black pants, we saw last year from his ICW collection, Undercurrent. His collection lacked a bit of variety but given the pandemic, we feel there could have been a lot of limitations. However, we loved the use of black and grey hues in his sculpted lehenga-like attire. We felt those hues were very different for the Indian festive and wedding market and we loved it because it really went well with the theme of his collection, which talked about making bold choices in the conformist society and acceptance of all.

When it came to menswear, we saw simple Bordeaux velvet tuxes-meeting bows and sculpted lapels unlike in his Undercurrent collection, where we saw textural and overlapping elements coming more into play. And both the menswear collection was appealing. In the past two years, Gaurav Gupta's menswear has impressed us more but we had our favourite menswear pick from this year. Did you notice a tuxedo with unicorn and bird patterns in white tones; well that particular jacket was unique!

So, what do you think about Gaurav Gupta's collection and show? Let us know that.