It’s Become a Style Statement to Wear Handloom, Says Designer Gaurang Shah
Gaurang Shah's impressive pieces have not just found love and appreciation from people across the country but also from the leading ladies of Bollywood including Sonam Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, and Dia Mirza, among others, who have been seen sporting the ethereal sarees on several occasions.
(Photo: Designer Gaurang Shah)
Visualising, designing and creating an outfit is as much an art form as painting, sculpting, dancing or singing. And when a designer uses his talent to not just create garments and gain out of it, but to work towards a larger cause, of reviving traditional handlooms while also providing livelihood to hundreds of unemployed weavers, it becomes more than just a brand designing outfits for sale.
KNown as master of weaves, designer Gaurang Shah, who took up the challenge of reviving the traditional handlooms and bringing them back in vogue, is someone who creates sarees and outfits that boast of textile art and Indian culture, amalgamating traditional motifs with contemporary textures to make it a heritage piece for the new-age woman. Consequently, this passion of Shah, to promote traditional handlooms, has, today, led to more than 700 weavers working with him all over the country.
Shah's impressive pieces have not just found love and appreciation from people across the country but also from the leading ladies of Bollywood including Sonam Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, and Dia Mirza, among others, who have been seen sporting the ethereal sarees on several occasions.
However, even with the growing demand for his flawless sarees, Shah, unlike other designers, does not want to retail online.
Justifying his decision, Shah said, "My product is such that an online space cannot justify it. I want my client to touch, feel and experience my saree before buying it. So, no online retailing for my brand. Instead, we do trunk shows in cities where I don’t have a store."
Shah recently came up with his new Spring-Summer collection called 'Neel' -- a lineup of 44 indigo themed handwoven masterpieces that include women’s and men’s wear -- which provides a unique twist to bandhani and has brought back 'hath-katti' technique after 5 decades.
Born and raised in the beautiful city of Hyderabad, Shah credits his love for traditional handlooms to his parents. In an exclusive chat with News18.com, Shah revealed that the primary reason for him to start reviving hand weaves besides his mother's impeccable taste in handlooms was because women who came to his father's fabric shop didn't have enough hand-woven saree options to explore and would therefore settle with 'powerloom' ones.
Talking about the growing popularity of handlooms in the last couple of years and, Shah said, "A lot of awareness has been made about handlooms in the past few years, with the like of Narendra Modi and Smriti Irani’s 'Make in India' and #iwearhandloom initiatives, also a lot of designers have turned to handlooms and made it ‘fashionable’ on major runways and fashion weeks. It’s become a style statement to wear handloom, now more than ever, and this isn't going to change anytime soon."
Speaking to News18.com about his latest collection 'Neel' Shah said, "The collection aims to bring the best of all aspects of the eco-friendly elements together. The collection was made to manifest the indigo dye which has been a cultural symbol to the textile world." "Binding the various textile arts of India in rarest dye, the collection comprises of anarkalis, lehengas, kurtas, ijar pants, ghararas and sarees which are apt for summer destination weddings," he added.
While speaking about the kind of love his designs have received from Bollywood celebrities and expressing his thoughts on whether celebrity endorsement was a necessity in popularising the traditional handlooms again, Shah said, "Celebrity endorsement was absolutely what pushed the traditional handloom. In a country where we idolize celebrities, it was the best way to reach to the masses. But I have had celebrities who have come to me for the joy of wearing a saree. Kirron Kher started wearing my sarees when I wasn’t even a ‘designer’ and she came back to me for the happiness she felt in my sarees. When some like Sonam Kapoor wears a Patan Patola dupatta, the younger generation comes to me for that or what she wears."
"But, I strongly believe that all my clients have been my biggest motivators and are my brand ambassadors," he added.
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