Masaba

Glamazon Trailblazers

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There is always a group of people who’s collections are awaited with bated breath – with a few hits and misses, they hit out the ball park every time and are already and in the process of becoming veterans of the fashion houses they lead. They set trends, bring forth something afresh to the runway with experimenting within their signature aesthetic.

MASABA GUPTA
The face of quirkyness and spearheading that in India, Masaba has mastered that art and successfully transitioned it into a business that has likes of people from many facets sporting her designs. International in aesthetic and quirky in language, Masaba presented the usual with the unusual playing up with proportions, scale and Read the rest of this entry »

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The Color Rioters

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Candied
Hopping onto the technology bandwagon was the newly engaged Masaba for her latest collection ‘Sugar Plum’. Where most designers have been shying away from inviting bloggers and kin to the shows in order to delay the piracy of design, trust Masaba to take the road less travelled. She not only presented a candified collection but updated it live on instagram feed for millions of viewers to watch in the comfort of their own space. The collection harked back to the Masaba’s own colorful roots of her earlier collections with her signature bold prints in mini flared skirts, tiny cropped tops, printed piped shirts all in candy colours. While I wasn’t too sure of the Popsicle print used, the florescent triangle prints were my favorite. Also was the much more cutesy candy clutch carried by the showstopper Nargis. Another favorite was the long white shirt with the pants and a long dress with print and brown solid and a yellow turban (mimicking the sweet print itself). Some fun stuff but  Masaba we have seen you do better and you have raised the bar of expectations pretty high which you exceed everytime, but this one. But that’s ok..tomorrow is always another day.

Dilli 6
Quirkbox is one of those brands who do tend to sort of keep me on the edge as to what will they come up with next. Everytime they showcase, I go like they have exhausted all options, what next? and they do come up with something. This time around finding inspiration in the city of Delhi, Quirkbox tried to map the spirit of the colorful city onto the clothes within their own aesthetics. Vehicals, buildings and landmark things all made an appearance within the prints that were used within some fun silhouettes ranging from jackets and dresses to jumpsuits and shorts. What I liked about the fact was that the pieces could be taken off from any look and paired with another but essentially give off a similar vibe. The collection was pretty much seamless and each piece (not look) could be taken off and styled to any individualistic tastes. While I wasn’t too sure of the copter prints (they seemed a bit immature compared to rest of the much developed prints) Quirkbox even made it look good by pairing it with the colorful jacket of prints of a building which I absolutely loved.

Good boy gone bad
High on drama, Kunal Rawal’s one of the prominent things was an introduction of a reflective fabric that was used. Starting off as spunky menswear featuring badass prints blending into a much more eastern silhouettes with a dark and edgy look. Tees, Jackets, hoodies, drop crotch pants merged into Kurtas bandhgalas and sherwanis featuring in a multitude of prints, solids and embellished treatements. The geometric print vests were another major highlight of the show. While I was vary of one of the looks of a printed dhoti with a jacket, the designer brought a cool edgy vibe to the  desi menswear succeeding to a certain degree. Imagine a desi bad boy who is sophisticated and pays importance to his looks.

Meh!!
For a designer who has probably trend setted beach wear with his goan aesthetics in India, I was rather disappointed with the Wendell Rodrick’s latest offering. The same old color blocks, the bold colors, the beachy silhouettes, the designer could have designed this collection in his sleep. With his similar aesthetics, it was nothing like we have not seen from the designer in the past therefore I probably expected more from him than the usual fare. Anyone familiar with his work could tell it was him without batting an eyelid and not because of the design philosophy. It was more like Rodricks dejavu all over again!!

Strictly come Charming
Sharp tailoring, a bit of HSY moment with the Tee boys and a bit of Nauman Arfeen thrown in with interjection of womenswear within a menswear collection, Raghuvendra Rathode’s collection had its moments and roller coaster variations. While there were suits and sherwanis alike, the color palatte seem to fluctuate from pastels to sharper tones to finally ending a on a sophisticated palette. However one thing that could not be overlooked was the certain charm and the impeccable suave vibe the collection had for the modern man, almost an answer to Sabyasachi’s modern royal woman. While the interjection of womenswear seemed odd (why do designers do that!!) it did not take away from the whole collection, thankfully!! Simple, clean and very fuss free (not drama free), that is what worked in Rathode’s favor playing with different fabrics and exercising control over not going the usual embroidered route.

Popping it
Ah! the veterans.. Pankaj and Nidhi have this thing about them. Everytime anyone tries to slot them in, they come up with something that is essentially them within aesthetic and design philosophy but removed from their last outing. This time around for spring, while their collection featured signature applique and cutwork, the silhouette seemed much more relaxed than usual. Furthermore was the use of pastels in powder blues and mint greens to poppy tones of corals, limes and neon yellows. What was also interesting was that, as far as I have seen their work, this was the first time the designer duo dabbled in black and white bold graphic prints though it wasn’t far from their aesthetic nature of how to go about it. Presenting an interesting mix of things with graphics, pastels and poppy colors, the collection’s range seemed to have something for everyone. Dresses, seperates, jackets all made an appearance within familiar and interesting silhouettes that were perfect for summers. While it lacked the usual ‘punch’ that is usually associated with them in terms of contrasting elements, I think there was a conscious effort on their part to move away from their usual self.

*Images by Sagar Ahuja and House of Masaba

Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015 – part I

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I know I know it’s been a while since I did a post, but between being a design student and juggling all the projects, it has been of helluva ride. A moment to Thank you all for sticking around and never failing to recheck if there has been a post. You guys are the best.

One of the firsts things that I had planned was the review for Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week before Pakistan’s FPW kicks off. A host of designers, showcased and it would be impossible for me to do reviews of them all, since there were quite a few many, therefore I picked out the ones that I felt made a certain sort of . So in random order, here you go…

Péro
One of my personal favorites, Aneeth Arora of Pero knows exactly where she wants to take the brand and strives for it. Instead of being ‘on-trend’ she strives for a certain look, styling and image that resonates with the brand. Bohemian, feminine, and wearable. Working with Afghan refugee women, the collection incorporated a lot chanderi tunics and kaftans, silk slips, cotton and linen jackets, a couple of all over embroidered waistcoats, cotton gauze dresses some fluorescent needlework on the collars, crocheted inners and blouses, silk jumpsuits with lace, tunics with beaded yokes, denim trousers with hand-embroidered hems, check print shorts, linen tops with floral cut work. Very Parisian in its aesthetic, yet rooted within a traditional aesthetic with a contemporary language, Aneeth Arora’s take on certain shapes is unique to her, so much so that it is almost an adjective. The international appeal of the collection makes sure that it is relevant in any part of the world despite remaining traditional. The international buyers would be waiting to grab it. Her showcasing of collections on foreign lands has exposed her well to hone her aesthetics without much compromise. The cheekyness with the flourscent sneakers, added the perfect humor to the petite feminity of the demure collection throughout the presentation. Even though feminine, the collection did not shy away from expressing its aesthetic that this was for a woman who was more of a wanderer in the artsy world yet aware of her surroundings.

NIDA MAHMOOD
One of the foremost queen of kitsch right from her maachis collection, Nida Mahmood has always been the non conformist in her own right. Playing the desi tune, the designer, of late, seems to her turned down the dial on the crazyness that we witnessed earlier and continue to do so now but in moments rather than being all out. Charmed by the Iranian cafes in Mumbai, this was Mahmood’s interpretation on them in her possibly most commercial outing yet. Not that it is bad, rather it is important for business, for crazies like us, we expect fun stuff from the daredevil designer. Interpreting the old world charm, the Nida Mahmood way, she does not veer away from her aesthetic giving us range of fun prints in dresses and signature saris while going down the nostalgic trip. With stories of people interpreted as garments, it was a presentation laced with a bit of nostalgia and a bit of fun. My fav has to be the tiffin used as an accessory. Printed dresses, crop tops, palazzos, and saris…. send this to the stores already.

 

URVASHI KAUR
Ah! a sucker for traditional techniques like tie and dye done well, Urvashi Kaur’s collection was just that. Languid silhouettes, blues blacks and cremes and easy going vibe, urvashi kaur pretty much successfully brought forth laid back shapes onto the forefront. The belted tie and dye saris were probably the stars of the presentation that was relaxed and easy on the eyes and fluid in its execution. The tie and dye, prints and lines added were used cleverly, complimenting each other without much fuss in an organic mix of prints that work well together so much so that you could visualize almost everything how it could be dressed up or dressed down. But it is strictly for those who have an organic taste in clothes and an easy vibe rather than a polished look.

WENDELL RODRICKS:
Eleiminating color throughout and restricting himself to white, Wendell Rodricks presented an ode to the handloom fabric and weaves in a collection that brought forth the quality of weaves along with his breezy silhouettes. The designer’s goan aesthetic was hard to miss despite the absence of riot of colors that he is known for. Using handloomed fabrics, the designer did not elude the flirty beachy vibe despite the clean palette, structure and linear elements through the collection. Possibly his most restrained outing yet, the minimal presentation to glorify the handloomed fabric, he presented a very chic collection that was very polished (a hard task to do with handloomed fabric since they mostly carry off an earthen vibe with them), and one definitely to pick up if one is headed to the beaches or a retreat to the tropics.

MASABA GUPTA
The firecracker designer (all puns intended there) presented a patakha collection (i am on fire.. oh a pun within a pun :P) that was right up in her alley. While the digital prints is a recent development in Masaba’s aesthetic and she is still experimenting with it, she is not afraid to go all out in her presentation. With firecracker prints and the FUCKIN brilliant use of firecrackers as parandaas, the designer’s presentation hit quite a few high notes. The oversized metallic neckpieces were another fun elements that were hard to miss. The mix of prints and solids, the collection comprised of draped silhouettes that sort of reminded me of Masaba’s earlier collections esp her first one. along with a mix of her work earlier this year. Straight pants, cropped culottes, dhoti pants and pleated shalwars, some really interesting lower garment options out there that were styled to a T. This crack-a-lickin collection (yes had to do another one) might not be everyone’s cup of tea but a perfect fit for the Masaba girl who is as vivacious as fiery as those prints that she used this time arond.

 

EKA
To be honest, I had not heard of EKA before I started reviewing the collection therefore I had no image of the brand or the philosophy that it tended to follow therefore there were no preconcieved notions. One of the newer names to feature this time around on the fashion circuit, EKA’s presentation caught my eye primarily because of the its masterful execution of cotton summer casuals with an ease that sometimes eludes even the most veterans. If I had to compare just for fun, it reminded me in places of Pero due to its boho vibe. The restraint that the brand displayed in probably it’s debut outing was highly commendable considering how OTT people do tend to become. The pastel and blush tones, the feminine easy look was perfect for upcoming summers and one of the major reasons why it stood out from quite a few many debutantes… Simplicity, it can sometimes do wonders and the right accessories (those desert boots with those outfits were a complete winner) that compliment your collection perfectly. Sometimes you do not need to make a splashy statement just for the sake of it, Less and thought out is definitely sometimes MORE

*images belong to their respective owners

The crazy ones

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MASABA
The quirky Masaba opened the LFW with her Wanderess presentation. The sixties influences, and possibly the best complimentary pieces of jewellery that she picked out fit perfectly within the setting. The plates and floral digital prints were a far cry from the usual masaba raw prints that we are used to seeing (Satya Paul rubbing off on her). Nevertheless they carried the vibe of being bold in their character with hints of gold providing the just enough glam. With point on styling, Masaba evoked the free spirited Goan woman as her muse. Masaba with her free spiritedness tends to flare out (pun totally intended) in hybrid silhouettes and this one was no different. F lared minis in beige, slinky gowns with multi prints, long sleeved, thigh length jacket with flared pants and cut-out sari gown, trapeze printed top with bell sleeves, attached dupattas for skirts, bell bottom style shararas, long sleeved tail-coat cholis with printed saris (my fav hybrids) and drop waist will-power maxi, all made it to the presentation. Shilpa Shetty made for the perfect showstopper with that cutout gown draped with dopatta in that killer bod.

Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhry
Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhri, the name still echoes the pac man collection that he did. The designer has yet to cross the benchmark that he set for himself. A curse of sorts, since that collection was so impactful that everything he would ever do would be compared to that unless he crosses it to produce something better. The sunflower collection however was not one of those moments. More misses than hits, using sunflower in various silhouettes, Chaudhry’s latest offering had them go from bold florals to repeat patterns. While there were indeed moments of brilliances like the repeat pattern jumpsuit or the floral pattern on a kimono jacket paired with a shirt and pleated skirt or a bold sunflower on a floorlength, they were few and far in between.

 

Sayantan Sarkar
Sayantan Sarkar, with a few hurdles earlier in his career has now come into his own. The designer has now kept me intrigued with his organic treatment of prints, maybe it is his Bengali aesthetics, for a few seasons now, and this one was no different. Using doll prints, but with a sort of experimentation that gives these prints an organic outlook, made for me wanting quite a few pieces from the collection (specially the doll prints button down and the brown doll print jacket made it to my lust list). Giving the whole collection a polished bohemian vibe, Sarkar never strayed away from maintaining the whole look of the collection while with bits of experimentation. Keeping his silhouettes relaxed, his presentation included both menswear and womenswear, experimenting with overlapped and contrasting lengths of hemlines. The collection made extensive use of prints, but balanced it out perfectly with earthy solids. While I wasn’t too sure about the use of leafy motifs as it looked forced, on the whole the collection would definitely be something I would want in my wardrobe

Quirkbox
Living upto its reputation of being the quirky one, Quirk box presented its second collection after the brilliant debut last season. The collection had all the trappings of being outdated considering we just came out of the color blocked phase, but the brand pulls it off with quite success. Using kitschy and eccentric fun sketched images (I loved the trumpet playing balloon guy) with the collection, it rather made the color block much more interesting. While at points it did remind me of Masaba’s debut kattran collection, but then dismissed it the notion since that was much bohemian in other ways than this. I loved the printed suit for men and the print on print head to toe look. Keeping a lookout on what this brand comes up with next!!

*Images credit: The LFW Team

Demure Demi-Couture

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Masaba has been one of the best things that happened to Satya Paul this year. After a successful RTW collection, Satya Paul introduced a Demi-couture line that intended on blurring lines between pret and couture. I loved the initial hype and the images the design house released. The brilliantly done graphics in relation with the collection were bang on. Loved the use of while and black (as that what majorly the collection constituted of) and the floral highlighted images.

Going the botanical and oversized print this time around , The Demi couture collection started off under UV lights (reminded me of alexander wang and also the fact that she understands that its a couture show and the need for the drama and setting)… but where Wang was the minimalist in his approach, Masaba used the botanical printed panels gave it all a brilliant eerie feel to make audience anticipate what was coming off next. The semi or rather ‘demi’ couture collection comprised mainly of A lined silhouettes featuring high waisted skirts, jackets, layered gowns, palazzos. embroidered capes as well as a multitude of printed saris (though I was not too sold on some of the blouses). A couple of body con gowns with digitally printed layered upper made for some really good visual presentation on the ramp. Breaking away from the traditional Indian couture which then goes in the bridal category, the contemporary vibe of the collection gave the audience a much needed breather from the last two days making her stand out for all the right reasons. The half and half black and white gown with floral print on one definitely caught my eye.The sheer layering with prints echoed bits of Masaba (her last collection), which is fine since every designer tends to bring their own design aesthetic to a design house. However it was to Masaba’s credit that she put up a good spin on the black and white with colored accents to differentiate with her own design house’s collection. This one was much more sophisticated and refined in terms of its treatment to be classified in the couture category.

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To her credit, prints are Masaba’s strength and one she plays off indefinitely at various occasions. The oversized botanical floral prints ranged from the daffodil, rose, iris, lotus and cosmos. From oversized, to layered to repeated, Masaba played all she could with the prints and had fun with them. She lets prints shine and take center stage with her ensembles making even the simplest of the silhouettes shine. Also in her latest outing she combined the two extremes surface technique digital (via prints) and the handwork (via the sequin work), along with thread embroidery, displaying her knack for not shying away from experimentation (the rest are definitely gonna follow the suit). She had the cores highlighted, the outlines, the shadows of the flowers worked upon with sequins and pearls making it a strange graphic marriage of sorts which plays off each other amazingly well. What resulted in was some brilliant prints and flowy and languid lines and a fun presentation that made the audience vying for more in the collection (esp. someone like myself who is a sucker for good prints). And lets be serious its Masaba at the helm! so it was bound to be fun.

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What I didn’t like or felt a bit lacking mostly the silhouettes were A line along with loads of net making it all the more puffy and could have been toned down for a variety of silhouettes. I infact liked the body-con dress Masaba wore as one of the better pieces of the collection. Furthermore I also felt that at many occassions collection resonated too much of a 90s. That could have been attributed to the chunky jewellery that PCJ decided to heave upon the contemporary collection which needed minimal-to-none (YES! people couture presentation can be without the jewels) . While I was in totally love with the lookbook styling (which is releasing this september) of this collection (shown below), I was quite disappointed with all that heavy jewels going around and the shimmery makeup which proved to be quite the dampener to what could have been flawless presentation. The design house should have stuck with the original styling of slick back hair and romantic gothic makeup. Also the idea of Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor to fill in for Sonam… should have gotten Rhea Kapoor.

What is good about THE humble Masaba is that after the show she tweeted that ‘Shows done. ! I want to sleep forever ! It’s been a tough month and I hope u liked it if not il be back next season:). Gn!’ .. This shows shes not afraid to make mistakes. She knows she is young and accepts them wholeheartedly. Neither is she ready to give in to the pressured demands, and there is always a next time, and for this youngest one (just 24) at the couture week, there would be plenty… as Karan in Humtum would say ‘Kyunki yeh zindagi buhat lambi hai’

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Images courtesy theSPgirl, Style Me India, Satya Paul and Masaba Gupta

Masaba for Satya Paul

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A first for Indian Fashion Industry, where a fashion designer from one brand is also appointed as the creative director for another brand. Masaba Gupta, one of the youngest fashion designers of India was appointed as creative director at Satya Paul. Now, having a liking for Masaba, as well as Satya Paul, the collection was a keenly anticipated one for me since she was appointed by the fashion house late last year. How the young 24 yr old Masaba Gupta would fare in combine the Satya Paul abstractness and silhouettes with her quirkiness? One did get a sneak peek when Sonam Kapoor wore the lipstick printed sari last week. That, however was just a beginning.

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Satya Paul is an established fashion house, who’s clientele included women from ages 30 n up, who were wanting to experiment without being too much. Masaba, through this collection, gave Satya Paul a much needed youthful, quirky makeover. Trying to reposition the brand, as Masaba said,  ‘with the collection that is meant for young girls’.

Masaba, known for her quirky prints, showed exactly that and more. The collection was divided into four parts – the firs t consisted of lipstick prints, the second part was ink blot on garments, the third section had abstract designs created by overlapping of maps and the last part had her take on the trend of british prints through telephone booth imprints. For Masaba however the collection symbolizes the journey of a woman. “The lipstick symbolises femininity, the abstract stands for basic way of life of a woman, the telephone booth stands for a constant wait and the ink drop for the various changes in a woman’s life,” Masaba said.

Masaba-for-Satya-Paul-at-WIFW-Autumn-Winter-2013-32 (1) knot masaabaThe silhouettes ranged mini and maxi dresses, gowns, sarees teamed up with printed blouses, jackets, palazzo pant sarees, tunics, kaftans and trench dresses. Being sucker for fun and quirky prints, I liked quite a few looks and one of my favorite looks was the black and pink saree teamed up with palazzo pants and neon pink suspenders. Another few of the favs were a telephone booth printed knot front open dress and the lipstick saree (of course).  Accustomed to straighter silhouettes for her eponymous label, Masaba showed her flare for drapes and variety of silhouettes through this collection.  Using fabrics like tulle, crepe, georgette and chiffon on color palette that goes ahead from signature “earthy tones” of Satya Paul, Masaba aimed at showing another varieties to the brand’s signtaure.

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Styled minimalistically to a T, so as to keep the focus on the youthful vibe of the show, the looks were paired with printed luggage bags of different sizes.  Furthermore the use of black ear cuffs was just oh-so-chic and the perfect detail to accessorize the look with, without jarring in your face. The designer had more hits than misses for the show, raising anticipations of what she does for the show of house of Masaba at Lakme Fashion Week.

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