Designer and fashion director of Satya Paul, Masaba Gupta visited Indore for the launch of the brand's Autumn Winter 2014 collection. HT City caught up with the designer for a tête-à-tête. Here are the excerpts:
Q. We see a lot of unconventional prints in your work which people may not associate with a saree. Where do you get the inspiration from?
A. Well, it's very spontaneous. Half of the time, the designs aren't inspired from anywhere. It's just that I look at something and I think this would look so interesting on a saree. Once I was pouring water in a glass in my office and observed how the bubbles would look when the water settles in the glass. My colleague just clicked a picture and we made a print out of it. Once I liked the movement of the scissor when my masterji was cutting a cloth and I got it printed on a saree. That's how most of my designs materialise. Of course, the technicalities and the size of the print and other details need to be taken care of. A lot of time goes into it. This was a challenge while designing this collection as we had to put the physical cuts to put stich lines etc. The fun part was finding these random prints which could fit into these sarees.
Q. Every girl would like the bright shades you give to a saree. Does the young generation prefer wearing sarees?
A. It took around 6 to 7 years for this trend to catch on. People wouldn't buy a saree if they were not embellished or if it wasn't a big occasion. But now girls are wearing them only because they are saved from the burden of carrying a 10kg saree. They just want to wear a plain chiffon printed colour-block saree which can even be worn with a shirt or a crop top.
Q. Did you always want to be a designer?
A. I hated fashion initially. In the first year of college, I found knitting and sewing tough. I only developed an interest in fashion during a fashion show in college where Wendell Rodricks was my mentor.
Q. You have worked with many well-known people. How different is it to work with celebrities?
A. I have shared a great personal relationship with all the celebrities I have worked with. I have grown up with some of them. Sonam (Kapoor) and Alia (Bhatt) are my childhood friends. It is easy to work with them. It's the trust factor which works. Dressing celebrities is great fun only if you have a good working relationship with them; otherwise it can be really difficult. I designed for a movie and it was tough. So, I decided not to take up such assignments as I believe it is very important to know the people you are working with and they need to trust the designer.
Q. Does Sonam give you ideas?
A. Yes, we share a lot of ideas. She has all the knowledge about fashion. She knows which fabric she is wearing and has the know-how of the latest prints etc. She and Rhea (Kapoor) collect fashion as art and she is the best person to take advice from.
Q. Which famous person you would like to dress?
A. It has to be Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan). I had an interaction with her when I designed some tunics for her but that was just for her personal wear and not for events. She has a great style and I would love to create something for her.
Q. What do you like to wear personally?
A. I don't like to dress up myself and also don't prefer adding colours to whatever I wear. I only stick to black and white. I like to accessorise with colours like my shoes, lip shades or clutches in bright shades.
Q. What is expected from you as the fashion director of Satya Paul?
A. I have learnt so much as a part of this brand. It was a fairy tale for me to get associated with it. Every designer dreams of the kind of set up the brand has. With Satya Paul comes in a lot of expectations and people wait for something new all the time. You need to keep on thinking and experimenting to live up to their expectations.