Fashion Designer Gaurang Shah Sets Trend for 'Made In Jamdani’ Women's Wear

Taapsee Pannu in a Saree dress designed by Gaurang
Taapsee Pannu displays a Gaurang creation

Hyderabad, India, February 06, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio): Taking advantage of his weavers spirit and creative energy, self taught fashion designer Gaurang Shah, has created excitement for over 500 weavers from across India when their motivation were fading away.

In almost three years,  Gaurang has initiated a Jamdani Weaves Wave with his nature inspired design in India, made a significant economic impact in the villages of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata in India, and did it all by following his single minded vision to make Indian weaves popular.

Gajjam Anjaih, the master weaver from Andhra Pradesh who was conferred with Padma Bhushan in 2013 says ‘Gaurang motivates us and raised our creative bar each time he meets us with an intriguing design. He always made us believe that hand craft will never fade as long as we can keep pace with modern times without losing the essence of our culture and tradition which is unparalleled world over.”

The designer reached fascinating milestones, including nationwide recognition for winning the best Indian weaves designer award at Lakme Fashion Week winter fest in 2012.  His story is not one of luck or overnight success, but one of lessons learned, hard work, and patience. There were times he says that his shelves were overflowing with no customers, today customers wait patiently for his collection and no time they are again waiting for his fresh stock.

Gaurang first conceptualized his fashion design journey sitting in his father’s small store which sold saris. He then felt that woman will be ready to move beyond georgette and chiffons if presented with alternative fabric, textures and patterns. His vision was to create saris made in traditional ‘jamdani Weaves’ on hand woven fabrics and implying eco-friendly techniques like use of natural dyes etc and giving a modern twist to our traditional fabrics.

He travelled the length and breadth of the country and convinced jamdani weaver families that potential still exist for their craft if they are willing to change. ‘I gave the confidence that my designs will change the course of their life’ Gaurang says.

In Berlin, he showcased to the fashion fraternity that Khadi is body friendly; he made it lighter using 80-100 count. Using Jamdani weave he made the dull khadi look brighter with smart color tones and varying textures blending with natural dyes.

“My design challenges the weaver” it takes a minimum of 5 to 6 months to weave a sari. Gaurang says. He has a hard task ahead to motivate his weavers. He says unless I challenge them with new designs and the economic potential, I foresee the art of hand woven fabric fading away, which is very disheartening for a designer like me, as I love Indian weaves and I am confident it has fine potential to become a global trendsetter in the years to come.

Gaurang's Khadi collections are one the most sought after attires by the modern Indian woman. From sari he has extended his collections to straight fits, jump suits and anarkalis. His design twist to Kalamkari in LFW winter fest got him the best designer award, where he brought vibrancy to the otherwise dull Kalamkari. It was the charismatic Actress Kiron Kher who took the ramp as his showstopper. ‘I love his creations and I am among the first who wait to hear from him about his new arrivals’ Kiron Kher says.

New Age celebs like Tapsee Pannu, Ashwini Ponappa and Priya Mani also vouch for Gaurang’s creations as they find he brings a perfect twist, blending past with the present. We love his intricacy and the way he mixes and matches Khadi, Silk and Cotton in his unseen 6 yard saris, flowing gowns and even most modern jumpsuits says these celebs.

Gaurang will be off to Singapore for the Jamboree and later to London to showcase his pre-fall summer collections. He will be also presenting his new line of collections at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013 in Mumbai, India, March this year.

The label “GAURANG” personifies elegance and captivating beauty of traditional handlooms, weaves, created using Jamdani technique with pure zari on cottons and silks. Traditional motifs, inspired by the sculptures of South Indian temples, floral and geometrics drawn from the nature are the hallmark of the creations. Immense care is taken to preserve and accentuate the aesthetic appeal of its beautiful textures. Gaurang believes in offering traditional Indian weaves and hand embroideries like Parsi, Kashmiri, Chikankari, Kutch, Kasauti on handloom saris with a subtle and sensible contemporary flair.