Designer with roots in Jammu & Kashmir crafts crowns of laurels from paper adorned by celebs at Met Gala

In his humble studio in Brooklyn, designer Sourabh Gupta crafts delicate but lifesize daisies, roses and other botanicals from paper. His paper daisies were appliquéd onto a gown worn by fashion designer Tory Burch at the Met Gala red carpet.

Drawing inspiration from vintage botanical illustrations, miniature Mughal paintings to the exquisite work of Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Gupta’s creative process is rooted in the small town of Hiranagar, Jammu and Kashmir, where he grew up and used to bid his time creating things to decorate the space around.

After briefly working as an architect in India, he won a scholarship to the Parsons School of Design in 2018. The signature style of his craft involves experimenting with different materials, including paper, brass, copper wire, and useful items he can lay his hands on.

Ahead of before the 2022 Met Gala, Sourabh Gupta engrossed himself in a project of meticulously crafting a spray of ivy at the behest of Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen, who had first spotted his work through Instagram.

The final sculpture was draped over heiress Ivy Getty, appearing like a seamless extension of her vintage lace gown, vines climbing gracefully up her back, and forming a delicate halo around her bouffant.

According to him, “the original idea was to work with copper or brass and paint over it. But we also wanted it to have a softer, more gentle quality. So we used paper that was prepared in a way that it turned almost velvety with a metallic sheen,” he explains to AD India. Earlier in 2019 he handcrafted 300 white paper daisies that were appliquéd onto a gown worn by famous fashion designer Tory Burch on the Met Gala red carpet.

Apart from this, he has collaborated with French designer Joseph Altuzarra; the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; Lilanur, a boutique perfumery founded by Good Earth’s Anita Lal; and a large-­scale installation for The Spiral, an upcoming office tower by the Bjarke Ingels Group. His upcoming plan is to turn the property next door into a gallery in order to expand his repertoire to furniture, lighting and home decor. 

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