You’re only as good as your last collection: Masaba Gupta
Designer Masaba Gupta on her favourite feminist icons, fondest fashion week memory and what she would say to her detractorsbrunch Updated: Nov 19, 2016 20:27 IST
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Date of birth: November 2
Place of birth: Mumbai
School/college: Jamnabai Narsee School, SNDT Women’s University
First break: The GenNext show at Lakme Fashion Week in 2009
High point: Five years ago, when Sonam Kapoor wore my outfit at Cannes
Low point: When a collection I did for fashion week got good reviews but no one bought it
Currently I Am : Just got my collection out for Maybelline New York at Amazon India Fashion Week S/S ‘17, planning strategies for next year
When did you first realise that design was your calling?
When I won three awards at a college fashion show. I was 19.
Fondest memory from your first fashion week experience.
When I walked out to take the final bow, I realised that Sabyasachi had been watching my show. That felt amazing.
You’re a huge Beyonce fan. What’s the first thing you would say to her if you happened to meet?
I would be short of words. But I think I would tell her that I’d want to be like her. I don’t feel that way about a lot of people.
One thing you would like to say to your detractors.
You’re entitled to your opinion so say what you have to. But say it with kindness and respect.
Best lessons from the Indian fashion circuit.
This may sound clichéd, but while it’s important to reinvent yourself each season, don’t be afraid of doing what you’re known for. Another lesson I’ve learned the hard way is, you’re only as good as your last collection.
You studied music in London briefly. Any memories from those days?
I was staying with an Indian family and every time I came home from college, I would be treated to a hot, home-cooked meal. When you’re a student living abroad, you end up eating junk, so this was special.
How do you like to unwind?
I go for a walk every morning, it helps me get ready for the day. Besides that I like listening to music and watching TV shows like Empire, Madam Secretary and House of Cards.
Are you a feminist? Who are your favourite icons?
I believe in women’s rights but I’m not a feminist who looks down upon or shames men. I look up to Michelle Obama, Beyonce, my mother and Kareena Kapoor Khan… she is my new obsession. She’s pregnant and working harder than ever, which is setting a good example.
You’ve been married for practically a year now. How would you describe the feeling?
It’s amazing if you are cut out for it. If not, it’s the worst.
A food item you find hard to resist.
Your mother has been a big inspiration in your work. Is she your muse too?
She is my first-ever muse. From the kind of work she did, the choices she made, and the clothes she wears, I imbibed everything from her. My organic yet modern approach to clothes also comes from her.
Favourite breakfast in bed.
Anything with avocado and eggs.
Why didn’t you wear your own designs at your wedding?
I don’t do bridal wear and I didn’t want to be one of those designers making something only because I should wear my own clothes. I also didn’t want that additional stress as I was working till the day of my wedding.
You’re known to be quite candid on social media...
I have to put on a game face every day at work. So when I’m on social media or out with my friends, I like to be myself because that’s the only time I get to be that way. Somebody has to be honest and show people that even public figures have fairly normal lives.
The best advice you got from someone.
I don’t know if this is the best but someone recently told me, “Stop being famous for being famous.” I think it meant stop over-posting on social media. I don’t know how to do that.
Three favourite designers.
Anamika Khanna, Wendell Rodricks, Karl Lagerfeld.
On a bad hair day, you…
…tie it up in a top knot.
If you had five minutes to get ready, you would put together...
A white shirt, a pair of black pants and a choker.
Things we’ll always find in your handbag.
A face spray that I’m obsessed with, lip balm, house keys and my diary.
What’s on your bedside table?
Kindle and my diary, since I take notes all the time.
The last line of your biography will read...
It’s all a trap.
Song of the moment: Ae dil hai mushkil
Film: Life is Beautiful (1997)
From HT Brunch, November 20, 2016
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