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All white this summer: Gaurang Shah Collection

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Gaurang Shah to showcase a collection in whites at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Or Resort 2017

few seasons ago, one remembers viewing his collection at a preview before Gaurang Shah showcased it at Lakme Fashion Week. There were saris and outfits in an assortment of weaves and techniques, in sparkling colous from vermillion reds to flaming oranges. This time, Gaurang is taking a break from colours. “It’s going to be white, with a touch of silver and gold,” he says, talking about his collection titled Muslin.

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Nearly 40 group lehangas, anarkalis and saris are getting ready for Lakme Fashion Week, which begins on February 1 2017. The summer or resort edition that is normally held in March has been planned advanced in February this year 2017, giving designers enough time to capitalise on orders. “It makes business sense. Otherwise, by the time most designers are ready with delivery/shipment, we are well into summer and many customers are on vacation,” says Gaurang.

Gaurang is using weaves and techniques from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Mughal motifs and geometric patterns on khadi, chikankari embroidery, Parsi gara and patti ka kaam embroidery which involves stitching a patchwork on fabric… all of these are used on muslin , organza, kota and khadi weaves.

He shows a Benarsi-organza sari with complicated chikankari work. The sari gets its absolute and pure quality from the organza, the smooth cotton thread ensures a better fall. “Using organza alone can make a sari velvety; I felt the fall would be better if we also use a smooth cotton thread,” says Gaurang. This sari took 7 months to make. “complicated chikankari embroidery of this kind is usually done on georgette. We wanted to do it on handlooms,” he says.

An anarkali that uses weaves from Maheshwar is teamed with a chikankari dupatta, another has an interplay of kota and khadi and can be worn with a dhakai jamdani dupatta. In one outfit, Gaurang has used gold, silver and muga silk threads to give the embroidery the richness it requires to stand out.

White on white was a tricky combination to arrive at, he says. The real test is when he takes these outfits to the ramp. “One of my weavers commented, ‘saab, kuchi bhi nahi dikhega’. But I am confident the craftsmanship will be evident on stage,” he says.

Nearly 50 weavers made this collection possible and the team is ready with more saris and outfits that will roll out soon after LFW. “As soon as people see something on the ramp, they want it. So the production has to keep up with the demand,” he says. Gaurang recalls showing his collections to a few loyal clients prior to fashion week to gauge the reception and tap potential buyers. But some of them, he observes, place orders only after seeing a sari or an outfit on the ramp. “Within 24 hours after we posted a photograph of Carol Gracias wearing a khadi jamdani sari on Instagram, we got orders from the same clients who had seen the sari earlier. They weren’t sure how it would look,” laughs Gaurang.

Though this LFW collection will be in whites, his weavers are getting ready with the same embroidery and techniques in pastel hues, keeping in mind summer weddings. A pomegranate pink kota anarkali with dull gold border is among the stunning pieces. “This time I felt the need to do monotones. So expect a light yellow sari with a deep mustard border or a red sari with a maroon border and so on,” he sums up.

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