Almora’s Whisper: Designer Shweta Gupta Weaves a Love Story at Fashion Week

Mumbai became a canvas for designer Shweta Gupta’s romantic narrative as she unveiled her Spring/Summer 2024 collection on Day 1 of Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI. Titled “A Periwinkle Wednesday,” the SWGT collection featured an array of skirts, tunic dresses, and deconstructed shirts that transcended beyond mere style to tell the tale of her affectionate bond with Almora, a serene town nestled in the hills of Uttarakhand where she encountered her soulmate and business cohort, Abhishek.

Gupta’s “proposed silence” at the Jio World Convention Centre was a tranquil space where her designs spoke volumes, punctuating the usual social media-consumed fashion narrative with genuine emotional depth. This contrast permitted the gathered audience to inhale and absorb the essence of the collection’s 23 looks. “Love is essential to me,” stated Gupta, “and the manifestation of that love through a day in the mountains – from dawn’s first glance to the dusk’s enamored whispers – takes form in this collection.”

Her lineup graced the runway with mountainous echoes via optical prints of geographic landscapes, botanical elements, and cool periwinkles. Each garment, whether it be the mini or floor-length skirts or the deconstructed cropped tops, was a tactile and visual exploration of layering through the use of materials such as mulberry silk, Chanderi, and zari linen. “Integrating the dress-up vibe into handlooms while blending sheen, embroidery and structured tailoring was the crux,” Gupta explained. This creative alchemy was a testament to her dedication to redefining her design aesthetic but retaining her unique identity, which she marked distinctly through the declaration ‘By Shweta Gupta’ on the show invite.

Rooted in authenticity, Gupta emphasized her desire for SWGT to be recognized for its design-centric approach rather than just profit margins, underscoring her devotion to the art of handlooms. Significantly, this collection presented an artist unafraid to embrace her past and present, balancing her personal journey and design evolution harmoniously.

Each Fashion Week has its highlights, and beneath the couture, a new accessory craze often emerges. This season, GenNext debutant designer Rohitash Notani of the Rosani label unveiled the sock gator, paired with audacious chunky Mary Janes, in his menswear collection. The sock gators, elastic bands designed to clasp socks firmly in place, presented a subtle defiance of gender norms and added a modern twist to a timeless accessory, turning heads with their reinforced sartorial message.

The week also saw a personal fashion revolution for well-known Mumbai designer Nachiket Barve. Traditionally a man of understated elegance, typically seen in self-patterned black Nehru jackets and shirts, Barve presented a refreshing deviation from his norm. He emerged in a strikingly modern silhouette featuring an oversized blazer, trousers, platform clogs, and a collection of silver jewelry. “The launch of my Western wear line has perhaps altered my perspective,” shared an insightful Barve, hinting at new beginnings both in his personal attire and professional tableau.

In summary, as Lakme Fashion Week x FDCI unfolds, the event continues to be a stage where designers like Shweta Gupta and Nachiket Barve not only exhibit their aesthetic prowess but also infuse their personal narratives and artistic transformations into the very fabric of their creations.

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