The season of gifting is here and you are all running around making lists, choosing the perfect gifts and even shopping for last-minute ones. But buying a great gift is not enough when you want nothing but the best for your near & dear ones. How you present or package the gift is equally important when you want to show you really care. Precisely for that, Lifestyle brings to you a fun & exciting range of gift bags designed by none other than fashion designer Masaba Gupta in order to take your gifting game a notch higher!
Here’s the young designer’s thoughts on this collaboration, the concept behind the designs and the idea of gifting.
What originally made you want to become a fashion designer?
Masaba: Well, it was not something that I had planned to do. I had wanted to do other things first – I was doing dance, I studied & practised music, among other things. But I guess, fashion eventually found me. When I came back to India, after studying music in London, I joined fashion school on a whim, with no plans or dreams of becoming a designer. But, I started getting good review of my work in college and everyone around was appreciative of my take on prints & colors. During my graduation show, I realised that the Indian fashion scene needs fresh ideas and my kind of aesthetics really works for the Indian market and that’s when I decided to take up fashion as a career.
That said and done, I always had a knack for art & creativity. Most of the times, I wanted to make clothes for myself for occasions instead of buying them and wanted to wear unique ensembles that’ll make me stand out in the crowd.
So, eventually I started my brand out of a garage, then shifted to my living room, then a studio and now we have stores all over India.
How would you describe your approach to fashion?
Masaba: My whole approach to design is different from regular designers. For instance, I don’t start a design with sketches. I, rather, have intense brainstorming session with my teams, so that our creation comes out of pure imagination – something which can’t always be out on paper. Even for my prints, I used to pick out everyday objects that I thought would make nice motifs – be it a fan, a vintage camera or even a cow on the streets. That way, my design philosophy is very laid-back and I don’t aim at making my designs something that is arty or avant-garde; I want it to be commercially viable, something that today’s women will be comfortable in, while looking stylish.
As for when we do shows, I start with what kind of music I want or what the energy of the show is going to be like, and then we put together the clothes, silhouettes & colors depending upon that. I have an idea in mind and I work backwards to make that idea culminate into a collection. My approach to fashion is also unique because I don’t play by the book or stick to conformations. I don’t believe that a red always has to be toned down with a black – it can be brightened up with a parrot green too, without worrying about the outcome. Thus, my designs are spontaneous and the effortlessness shows in our collections. I believe design should come from within, and the minute you put too much thought into it, it becomes a mess.
Who or what has been the biggest single influence on your way of thinking?
Masaba: It has to be my mom. I vividly remember sitting in her room as a kid, while she would dress for a party – pulling out her favourite saree and effortlessly paring it with a blouse, adding a bindi or a pair of bangles. I used to find the whole process calmly therapeutic, almost like meditation. The way she used to unwrap a saree, put together an off-beat blouse with it, do her make-up & even choose the perfume she wanted to flaunt that evening – that whole process is what it was all about.I also remember how she used to buy things from places she would go to shoot – sometimes a lehenga from Bhopal or an accessory from Kuwait – and then mix & match those two together beautifully. Sometimes, she would even cut up different parts of different clothes and make a patchwork with bits & pieces from all around the world and show how to make something your own.
While growing up, seeing the way she dressed, I understood that it doesn’t matter what you wear, what matters is how you wear it. You can really make it individualistic & personal if you put something together in your own unique way. That’s how my aesthetic came to be al about mixing prints & patterns together or using bright colors, because that’s what I have seen my mother wear, and I do think that if she was someone who dressed differently, my aesthetic would be different, because what you pick up along your growing up years is what becomes your DNA.
What is your favourite thing to give/what according to you makes the perfect gift?
Masaba: Gifting is a very intimate thing and people don’t realise that always. Most of the times they are kept wondering what to gift someone. People really struggle with the idea of gifting.
When I got married last year, we were really dreading the gifts that would come our way, because mostly people don’t put much thought behind gifting. But one gift that touched me was a wax seal & stamp with my initials on it, which was really cool, because it had a personal touch. For gifting, you really have to know the person well & know their likes & dislikes to give them something they’ll appreciate. But, at other times, gifting can be more generous, depending upon the relation you share with the person.
What went into designing the gift bag for Lifestyle and how was your experience doing it?
Masaba: This is the first time I did something like this for a brand. Initially I didn’t know what to do as I didn’t know who the bags will be used for and what their likes & dislikes are, or whether they are men or women, as Lifestyle has a wide variety of people who come & shop.
I thought that one thing that people look at while gifting is that they don’t want it to be too specific or something that is not inauspicious. So we decided to go for gold that everyone likes and gold foil turns out beautifully on paper – be it bags or cards. We took inspiration from the popular festive sweet, the barfi, and translated it into a pattern in gold. The leaf that we have used is actually a Banyan leaf which is considered auspicious in India, but we didn’t want a leafy pattern that would end up looking tropical. So, we used the leaf motif in an edgy, block pattern in gold and gave it a touch of red for the festive look & feel. We made the gift bags in a lovely shade of purplish-blue, which is one of my favourite colors for this festive season. Also, blue is an universally-loved color which looks rich & festive too.
Gifting is something that can easily go wrong, so if the packaging is done right, it adds that extra special touch to your gift. So, we used beautiful colors and gold foil so that it all come together to make the look festive & fun, and you can feel happy taking it back home as a part of gifts for your loved ones.
So, this festive season, give your gifts in beautiful gift bags by Masaba for Lifestyle and bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces! After all, it’s always #GoodToGift, right?