Following the trail of success
It was the 80s, a decade more notorious than famous for its crazy fashion sensibilities when Shyam Gupta embarked on his enterprise — all alone. A one-man-army, he mastered the skills of the tailoring trade, drawing inspiration from a neighbouring shop that became his muse, and his 'karmabhoomi'.
That Gargee's work has endured for more than three decades is a testament to Shyam Gupta's dedication to his chosen profession, his eye for detail, and the unfailing spirit of craftsmanship — every seam, every stitch on the shop floor undergoes minute scrutiny before it sees the light of the day.
And with Shyam's son Ravi joining him in recent years, menswear by Gargee has embraced what being fashionable and on-trend means to the contemporary eye. Ravi's experience with labels such as Karan Johar + Varun Bahl and Diwan Saheb brings the best of both worlds — fashion from a designer's perspective, as well as retail. Add to that a list of celebrities he has worked for — from Amitabh Bachchan, and Hrithik Roshan, to Siddharth Malhotra and Ranbir Kapoor — and you know you will get trendsetting attire when you come to Gargee.
Excerpts from an interview
What was the idea behind your latest collection?
My latest collection is inspired by the elements of festivity. A lot of textures, fabrics and colours can be seen that celebrate the mood of the time. Embroideries in lovely colours picked up from the hues of nature depict the celebration season. The cuts and styling are crafted to define comfort and uniqueness.
Why did you decide to choose fashion designing as a career?
I wanted to continue the family legacy and take the business to another level, keeping the dynamics of the fashion industry in mind. Also, there were many engineers and doctors in my family already and I wanted to do something creative.
What according to you is a favourite part of being a fashion designer?
The exciting part of being a fashion designer is that I get to travel a lot. I get to experiment with a lot of materials. There are a whole lot of new ideas which I get to experiment with. So, every day becomes a new thing for me because every day I am experimenting with new clothes and new fabrics, new techniques, new ideas, new embroideries.
What are your greatest strengths, and how will they help you as a Fashion Designer?
I don't know my greatest strength really but as a person, I understand my customers very well. So, in terms of designs, it's helped me a lot when a customer tells me to create something for him. I understand the need and the kind of exposure I have toward designs.
Who and which things are your inspiration while creating designs?
Inspiration is all over the place. I try to observe a lot in life and that is how I get my inspirations. There are times when a small element in a car becomes my inspiration. It's a kind of all the things which are real, which I am experiencing inspire me to create designs. So, these experiences, these details are picked up from nature, different kinds of fabrics which I have seen, different kinds of things around, different kinds of monuments may be around. These things become my inspiration in creating a design in terms of details that I have to put in my designs.
What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
You need to be creative, progressive and experimental. Apart from this, knowledge about trends, designs, fabrics, cuts, etc. is a must.
What do you consider the important facets of the fashion industry?
It is important to be updated about the styles and trends. Above all, it is critical to be observant 24*7.
How would you describe your personal style?
I don't have any personal style. But when it comes to my working style, it is very versatile and flexible as per the need of the hour, customers and clients. I just deliver it that way. And yes, I do follow certain trends which are part of the process. But at the same time, my main motive is to create solution for the customers and make them look great. For me, comfort is of utmost importance and I guide my clients and customers the same. As a designer, it is important for me to understand the needs and psyche of the customer and I guess that is what moulds and defines my personal design space at times.
According to you, who is the most stylish celebrity?
I think nobody can beat Ranveer Singh in terms of styling. He can carry any fashion statement with so much ease, that it inspires us to create something more experimental and more fun.
What are your future projects?
My future project is my next autumn-winter collection that is simple in terms of look but yes very intricate with fine stitch lines, pen tugs, geometric patterns, colour blocking, and more.