It is a well-established fact that Gaurav Gupta is the torchbearer for a modern take on classic Indian bridal wear. The forward-thinking designer blurs boundaries between fantastical, mythological and natural elements to create couture that can be best described as art. He is, after all, designing for the present-day Indian bride who isn’t afraid of pushing sartorial boundaries.
Gupta’s design language is one-of-a-kind, and instantly recognisable in a crowd. But the detail-oriented artist that he is, he felt something was amiss in how his clothes were sometimes being styled by clients. “I have an obsessive need to design everything around me. For instance, I design all my stores myself,” he reveals. “I often saw brides and clients wearing our couture gowns and lehengas with jewellery that felt very mismatched. Which is why we felt the need to introduce diamond jewellery as an interpretation of our couture language.”
And therein was born Gaurav Gupta Occasions Fine Jewellery two years ago, as an extension of the brand’s aesthetic. Not unlike his clothing, Gupta experiments with forms, materials and silhouettes for fine jewellery too. “We strive to break the misconception that artistic jewellery is stiff. Instead, we have created something lightweight and flexible that allows movement. Think of it as ‘art couture’ in the form of jewellery,” he explains. The approach is new and unseen in precious diamond jewellery.
“We strive to break the misconception that artistic jewellery is stiff. Instead, we have created something lightweight and flexible that allows movement.”
An artistic expression
Natural diamonds serve as the key element to bring this larger-than-life vision to life. The designer believes that real diamonds are forever; exuding elegance, romance and sophistication. “Moreover, they lend very organically to my fantasy school of thought”
What is Gupta’s creative process? How do his ideas manifest into collectibles? “We are design-forward and heavy on the detailing. The sketches come first. We then individually cut each diamond into different shapes keeping the sensibility of the piece in mind. Some of the moulds have been broken up to seven times just to get the shape right! Hence the shape of every stone varies. Rare diamonds are ethically sourced from Botswana and Russia for these collections; and are cut and polished to highlight all their distinctive characteristics. They are then engineered into jewellery that effortlessly moves with you.” Subtle nuances of Indian heritage are integrated with the influences from the Victorian era (which Gupta admires for its grace and grandeur).
Shining bright like a diamond
While Gupta’s focus is to create newly-designed modern heirlooms, he does factor in on-trend elements too. The designer was a part of NDC’s Trend Report 2021, and touts statement jewellery as an “ever-standing trend” when conceptualised with originality. Shoulder-duster earrings are a favourite this year, he feels. “They can be styled with both western and Indian looks. They can uplift any outfit, and I love how they elongate the neck to make one look taller.” Case in point: the label’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ ear cuffs that are a whimsical take on armour. As bold as they are fluid, tiny tie-cut natural diamonds dangle at the bottom of this sculptural masterpiece, much like pieces of broken glass in a kaleidoscope.
The Art Nouveau ‘Plume’ necklace is another standout star from the collection, one of Gupta’s favourites. It is fashioned after swan feathers in motion, moulded in white gold, studded with rose-cut diamonds and tiny briolettes that dance with the slightest movement.
Purveyor of slow luxury
Even though Gupta’s creations are steeped in avant-garde flamboyance, they are equally long-lasting. Which is why natural diamonds fit his philosophy: He considers them perfect for conscious consumers looking to invest in slow fashion and jewellery that can be passed on for generations. “A diamond’s undisputed timelessness lends unparalleled versatility to all our designs,” he adds. As a result, not only is each piece unique, but can be repurposed for multiple occasions, thereby elevating their longevity. The designs are a reflection of contemporary heritage and can be worn for years to come.”
Gupta has never shied away from charting his own path. It is his very raison d’etre as an artist. It was his gallant revolutionising of bridal wear that made him such a cherished couturier. It is no surprise that he brings the same revolutionary spirit to his fine jewellery as well. There is an intention to reinvent traditional codes to create something truly authentic and original. Designs that can become lasting symbols, as well as a celebration, of modern India—a nod to the past, informed by the present with an eye on the future.