By Honey Patnaik
As Picasso said, “I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else”… “Creativity is always a wild mind with a disciplined eye and if there is a will there is a way and dreams have wings”, says a smiling Gipsita Nayak. Former Navy queen(Odisha), fashion designer, image consultant and the apple of her momma’s eye, she has donned the mantle of taking the desi Odisha weaves across the shores, making them sizzle and glow. Well she’s a sought after designer thanks to her innovative cuts and designs, which is acclaimed even in New York ! Team Coffee Bytes spent a funfilled evening with this dazzling and perky fashion designer Gipsy.
Take us through your initial years of struggle and the challenges you faced as a designer?
Ahhh!! The first thing that comes to my mind is when I was a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya school in FCI colony, Talcher. It was a life which was uncomplicated, filled with unbridled laughter with friends and family along with loads of dreams. My parents Sarita and Gaya Nayak took a major decision of shifting to Bhubaneswar after my board exams. It was actually very daunting coming to a city where I was a stranger. My parents and my relatives were a constant source of support and I convinced them that my fabric was not cut out to become an engineer or a doctor but my cherished dream was in fashion designing. I did a diploma course in fashion designing and then went to Delhi for further studies. Later I came back and decided to start a business in designing fashion outfits.I plunged into a work area where I was a greenhorn novice as none in my family understood business. My workshop and boutique Gipsitaz was launched in Bhubaneswar with much difficulty and I had to take some loans. I still remember the days of heartbreaks, sleepless nights, tears, criticisms and more which made me learn the slippery ropes of life as a business woman. Many tried to discourage my budding talent but a few who always had faith in me goaded me forward. Today I stand strong, confident having an identity of my own of which I am so proud of.
Tell us about your first show?
In New York my first show as a back stage fashion stylist was a dream come true event. It was the JLM Couture Bridal show where the collection was absolutely stunning. For me it was a huge responsibility because I had to handle one of the most respected shows in the New York Fashion Week. As it was my first show every face around me was new adding on to my nervousness. together as a team we nailed it and I ended up having a happy and satisfied team. A never to be forgotten moment with so many kind words of appreciation.
You won the coveted Miss Navy Queen beauty pageant in Chilika – 2009 and had participated in Femina Miss India in 2008. Why did you choose to be a designer and not a model?
Modeling was never a career option but something which popped up in between. Both are symbiotic in nature and fashion was my all time call. I grew up wanting to be like Ritu Berry, and was highly inspired by Charles James a British born fashion designer and also known as America’s first Couturier. I was very impressed with the art of cutting, designing, styling and execution of a complete dream dress.In the Femina Miss India 2008 beauty pageant I went up to the semi finals in Kolkatta. It was a great learning experience and reaching the semi finals was an awesome achievement for me. The very next year I won the coveted Miss Navy Queen title which was truly a turning point in my life. Frankly speaking I was not at all prepared for the Navy Queen pageant. Preparation was rigorous with workouts, dieting, public speaking, getting my apparel ready etc. My focus was always on creating and designing interesting dresses and modeling was just a side kick and I got lucky. When my name was declared as the winner it came as a huge surprise and I was at the top of the world!
Tell us about your New York experience?
I got married to my sweetheart Supratim Dasgupta who worked as a software engineer. I landed in Manhattan which became my stepping stone into the world of international fashion. I felt that a higher education was a must and I completed the Production Management Certification, Styling & Image Consulting certification from Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. This gave me ample opportunities to work in the very popular New York fashion week where I did back stage styling and the experience was very valuable in my work field. Currently I work as a senior executive Director for show production at Plitzs Fashion Marketing in New York. When I work back stage it is an exciting and jaw dropping experience to meet stars like Naomi Campbell, Michelle Rodrigues, Paris Hilton, Kelly Osbourne, Carry Underwood, Mary J Blige and others.
How are you promoting the Odisha weaves in New York fashion world?
I ’m in love wi th the handlooms of Odisha and I try my best to showcase it anywhere possible. Recently I launched my collection in New York Fashion Week with the main theme of handlooms of Odisha in western silhouettes. I am planning on experimenting more with the western styles using the state handlooms. I used the traditional triangle motifs of the Odisha weaves to create western outfits and always try to make the outfits a source of fun. My outfits should be comfortable, chic, eye catching and affordable. My clients love the raw silks and the silks of Odisha and are very attracted to the amazing colour combinations and motifs. My jackets and skirts are usually made out of cotton handlooms. Every design that I created has been highly appreciated and it has been almost a total sold out .
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
All over the world maybe (laughs). But I also see myself as a better, wiser and more knowledgeable designer creating better and more beautiful dresses which people will love to buy
Do you follow any fashion designers and what is Gipsy’s dream?
I follow Donna Karen, Reem Acra, Dior, Yves St Laurent and Michael Costello. I am very impressed with Oscar De la Renta and it is one of my favourite brands. I dream of creating something that is worth showcasing to the world even after I am no more.