The Anita Dongre Interview

The Anita Dongre Interview

The legend talks inspiration, fashion and styling no-nos

ARTICLE BY : Abha Shah


Showcasing Indian aesthetics with a modern edge, Anita Dongre takes inspiration from Rajasthan’s rich heritage and remains committed to reviving, sustaining and empowering traditional Indian crafts. The eponymous label offers bespoke bridal, couture, pret, menswear and handcrafted gold jadau jewellery.

What inspires you?
Rajasthan. I was very close to my grandparents, who lived in Jaipur.I spent a lot of my childhood there. Every time I return I stumble across something beautiful I want to integrate in my collection. There’s so much beauty.

Tell us about your Grassroot collection
I’m an animal lover and a vegetarian. Caring for the world around us is very important to me so I wanted to convey that through Grass Roots. The collection carries a message for the environment. It’s about safeguarding India’s rich textile and craft heritage for future generations who may never know the joy of wearing natural, handcrafted and hand-embroidered clothes.

What’s the difference between Indian and British brides?
Bridal fashion emerges in India, so women there are more clued-up about styling. However social media is a real game-changer. My followers around the world can see my collections the second they hit the catwalk, which is fantastic. But a bride shouldn’t be concerned with trends. Her persona should emerge more than any fleeting fashion trend.

How do you create fusion looks?
I recently had an English bride marrying an Indian boy who didn’t want to wear a traditional outfit. She wanted something true to herself and her roots, but still Indian. I designed a beautiful two-piece with pockets in the skirt that she loved. Wearing a dupatta was totally alien to her. She had no idea what to do with so much fabric, so we simply left it out. Her fiancé told me that finding her bridal outfit was a nightmare, until they walked into my boutique. That really pleased me. Shopping for your bridal gown shouldn’t be a nightmare. 

Tell us about your bridal collection
I design a lot co-ordinated outfits for the bride and groom. I price all pieces individually so a bride can wear pieces afterwards rather than relegating the entire look to the back of the closet. I believe in mindful fashion. Buy a few well-made pieces and re-style to create a new wardrobe. It’s all in the styling! 

There’s also an Anita Dongre jewellery line… 
Yes, there’s Pink City, inspired by Jaipur and Rajasthan. I also design a lot of piece made in pure silver, which is very popular with destination wedding brides. 
What are your bridal no-nos?
Brides tend to over-accessorise on the Big Day, which is a mistake. You don’t need to wear everything just because it’s expected. Don’t feel pressure to follow trends if they don’t suit you because your lack of confidence will show. It’s your wedding, so of course you should look special, but also stay true to yourself. 

Do you have plans to open a store in the West?
I’m opening a new store in NYC so that the brides there can indulge in the beautiful heritage of Indian fashion.My brides there are so time poor and travelling all the way to India can be energy sapping so I feel the American market needs bridal couture more. I hope to open a store in London by the end of this year.I’d like somewhere very central, so it’s accessible for everyone. Perhaps Mayfair.

Review: Lakmé Fashion Week 2017
Closing the Indian fashion event of the year, Anita Dongre’s ‘Alchemy’ succeeded in casting a spell over Mumbai’s glitterati. Held in Bandra Fort’s magnificent amphitheatre, the catwalk transformed into an idyllic garden through which white and cream-clad models meandered in flowing gowns with gold details (in keeping with the ‘liquid gold’ theme). The whimsical range is inspired by the flora and fauna of Rajasthan. Closing for the label was a radiant Kareena Kapoor, a vision of ethereal perfection in a magical Dongre creation.




Tags : Anita Dongre  India  Couture  Designer  Catwalk  Rajasthan  Bridal 
  Previous Article
Next Article   

Get Our FREE Newsletter