Fashion Updates

Regarding the outfits she created for Simone Ashley, “I wanted to do fashion for the sake of fashion.”

Published: May 7, 2024
Author: Fashion Value Chain

By creating timeless House of Masaba shapes on demand for Simone Ashley, the May-June cover girl of Vogue India, the designer has developed a more refined brand language that is meant to endure. 

How does a company create its trademark look?

When did Maison Margiela’s daring bias cuts grow even more magnificent with each collection, and when did tweed suits become synonymous with Chanel? It’s impossible to predict when design cues will surpass their brand and permeate their interactions with the outside world.

Masaba Gupta had additional issues to deal with in addition to her designs, which combine pop art, nostalgia for childhood, and striking color blocks. To begin with, she recalls in a Vogue India interview that a senior designer scoffed at her “with contempt” when she chose to name her company the House of Masaba, asking whether she was drawing comparisons between the House of Gucci and herself.

Gupta the designer is front and center

when I spoke with her on Zoom on the day that Vogue India releases the digital version of the May–June cover, which features Simone Ashley in a bespoke House of Masaba one-shoulder dress. According to Gupta, “When you’re creative, you get stuck in your prejudices and believe the stories you tell yourself because you’ve been telling those stories to yourself for so long.” We’ve changed course a lot over my career.

Gupta specifically explains that the three looks created for Ashley—the tutti frutti candy one-shoulder column dress on the cover, a gold bralette and skirt in gold zardozi thread embroidery (Gupta’s favorite), and a glass toffee kurta with billowy sleeves that features everything from geometrical structures to fish to a camera—have a different, slightly more subversive, and cleverly done manifestation than the classic prints for which she has always been known.

The design philosophy of House of Masaba today represents the result of the brand’s nearly fifteen years of evolution, distortion, and manipulation of what is Indian. Her first collection, called Kattran (meaning little bits of fabric left behind when a garment is cut), was a patchwork of connected tales. She did not, however, adhere to the “Indian” interpretation of clothing. She took inspiration from Roman Payne’s The Wanderers, starring Saskia, the gypsy girl, for her 2014 Lakmē Fashion Week show.

Gupta is ready to become a mother too, with Ashley and a new product coming out soon. She claims to have meticulously planned her day. Will being a mother alter everything?

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