Like never before, we see young Odia turks eager to flaunt a host of skills with passion, marking a significant signature role with dual career identities. Born in 1990, based out of Bhubaneswar, Dr. Kumar Guru Mishra is one such noteworthy example who is a doctor by profession and an artist by passion. The multi-talented self-taught fashion designer has taken the Odia fashion world by storm with his recent creation, ‘Chitraa Assemblage’. The collection earned appreciation from Ollywood actress Archita Sahu, popular models like Padmalya Nanda (Little Miss Universe 2017) and Maitri Monali Pradhan (Miss Teen International Most Talented 2018) to business leaders like Chairman-Falcon Marine Exports Ltd., Mr. Tara Ranjan Patnaik and Director cum Co-founder of Odisha Television Limited, Mrs. Jagi Mangat Panda and Mr. Pankaj Kumar Sahu Founder of Odstin Creations. With unveiling of the collection, their website was launched too. Do check it out, www.kumargurumishra.com
Dr. Mishra believes in preserving the legacy of art forms. He is currently working on the ikkat, bomkai, tussar silks to portray indigenous art forms of Odisha at the varied fashion platform as well as promote sustainable luxury. The unusual texturing and detailing, fusion of style with stunning embellishment on usual fabric makes the young promising designer Dr. Mishra to stand apart. He spoke exclusively to Team Coffee Bytes about his passion, philosophy and future plans.
How would you describe your apparel brand G?
Brand G has been derived from my name Guru; and my Guru is Lord Jagannath; Brand G is the language of my expressions. Each attire which is designed becomes a cherished item for a client because of its indigenous concept and aesthetic appeal of the fine craftsmanship. It is the only outfit of its kind in the world for the client and reflects one’s persona in the best possible way.
When you enter Brand G every detail is taken care of such as silhouettes, fabric selection as per skin tone, design sketches etc. Apart from it, we mould the rich traditional art and fabric into contemporary style in an exceptional manner to build an aura of confidence who wears it. It won’t be wrong to claim Brand G stands for Glamour and Grandeur to Glitter.
Describe your philosophy about your art of fashion?
I believe fashion is present everywhere. It is the way how you present yourself before the world. Usually, attire is the first thing that one notices about the other. The dressing style is an extension of one’s individuality and persona, so one needs to be conscious about it, always.
Brief us about your evolution as a designer and what was the first thing you designed officially and unofficially?
I was a good student and my parents wanted me to be a doctor. I liked the subject of biology so I took up the noble profession of a doctor. I had weakness for art since my early childhood days and my parents always encouraged it. On seeing different objects of art, I invariably wanted to reshape it in my own way. This kindled the fire for fashion designing within me. Added to it, I was surrounded by my two sisters who had finer taste of fashion. I started designing (unofficially), I remember while I was studying in Std –II (7-8 yr old), I had redesigned a blue colour Berhampuri Silk Saree into a dress for my mother. When my mom wore it, she looked beautiful and received appreciation from near and dear ones. While pursuing my medical career at VSS Medical College, Burla and AIIMS Bhubaneswar, I had organised art galleries showcasing the artists within the medical fraternity which had received a lot of appreciation. I work as a doctor and after the working schedule, I turn into a designer. Designing professionally took shape by the inspiration of Pankaj Kumar Sahu, without whom the research part would have been difficult to manage and my efforts would have turned futile.Though, it is quite difficult to manage but passion keeps it going. Officially, my first design is the ‘Chitraa Assemblage’.
It is worth mentioning that when I was growing up in the non- fashionable rural environment in Dhenkanal and Aska with trips to the capital city, the culture difference acted as a fuel for me in the process of evolution as a fashion designer.
What is your personal style statement?
I prefer neutral colours like white, black, grey which are not too flashy for the day and attractive colours like red and orange for the night.
One should be camera ready-I believe it as my style statement. One should look good enough for the camera, always (laughs)
The designer collection that you make has a premium price tag, it won’t be wrong to term it as a luxury item…what does luxury mean to you?
For me true luxury is an appreciation of something classy and one-piece edition in term of designer collection. When a design is launched it showcases numerous hours of passionate labour and its exclusiveness with exquisitely worked fabrics and embellished materials, which makes it unique in the whole world. For every unique piece there has to be a premium price.
How do you describe the couture culture in Odisha?
In Odisha, we dress up God (idol) consciously and beautifully but we don’t dress ourselves properly. The couture culture is lagging behind in the state. There is a lack of awareness about fashion. ‘Sab Chalta Hai ’ casual attitude dominates more. Fashion is not limited to clothing but extends to fitness, skin, hair, footwear and other accessories. The conscious transition is yet to take place in the state.
What are your likes and dislikes in the fashion scene in Odisha?
Likes: The culture of wearing sarees. Saree makes the person look more elegant, gorgeous and graceful.
Dislike: People here follow fashion blindly without a thought. They concentrate only on the attire without knowing how to accessorize it.
For a collection (from concept to real form), how much research goes on? Does it begin with a creative spark or typical inspiration for you?
It is usually a creative spark. My collection for Bangalore Fashion Week – ‘LUSTRE’ began with a spark from artificial pearl beads sold on Puri Beach. Side by side, Chitraa Assemblage was a typical inspiration and it took me nearly two years to get the concept to reality. After the final sketch of concept; getting the right artisan like painter, weaver, tailor and convincing them on the concept, the kind of weave, colour, and texture of fabric as well the distinctive cuts, consumes maximum time for a collection. Brand G believes in no plagiarism or repetition.
Any other designer’s labels you look up to?
From the west, I like designers like Michael Kors,Versace, Armani and Ralph & Russo while from India, I like Sabyasachi’s and Amit Aggarwal’s creations.
You showcased ‘Chitraa Assemblage’ inspired by Pattachitra. There are a lot of designers who have worked on the same inspiration, how does your collection stand as a cut above the rest?
I have observed different design work inspired from Pattachitra. Usually, the design work has expected motifs and regular pattern work with representation of God. My collection had no replication of it but was backed by research, the designs on fabric had an enhanced version on particular nature of element like Kadamba tree and Champa flower of Pattachitra, embellished with Swarovski crystals.
How have you geared up for fashion shows like Pre-Finale show at Bangalore Fashion Week, 10th Anniversary Celebration (August 04, 2018) and India Runway Week, Season 11, New Delhi ( September 29th, 2018)
I will showcase my collection ‘LUSTRE’ at Bangalore Fashion Week. Ollywood actress, Ms. Archita Sahu will be the show stopper at the event. I will be the first Odia designer to do a Premium Solo show at Bangalore Fashion Week and even in India Runway Week, where I would showcase my western collection.
Bollywood celebrities have loved your design work… Brief us on it.
Vidya Balan ji has accepted my mulberry silk ikkat saree designed for her. She would wear the design in a special event and would be promoting and endorsing the brand in the social media. Madhuri Dixit ji loved a mulberry silk saree designed for her and she asked me to design a saree in black. Sonam Kapoor has loved my designs too and plans to promote Odisha in a national platform.
Preservation of culture through fashion… your views.
Fashion can definitely preserve our culture of art and fabric as it is the only way through which a culture can be promoted in a stylish and glamorous manner. Anything which is fashionable and glitzy, reaches out to a wider audience. Everyone loves glamour and likes to get associated with glamour.
Before signing off, would you like to reveal if you have a secret design in your dream?
Of course, I do have but it is to showcase sheer creativity. It is a design of attire, based on tissue paper with vibrancy and illuminated with candles. Shh… I would not like to share the details of my secret dream. (winks)
By Upagupt Mohanty