Blend of past and present

Amrita Prasad
Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Anita Dongre, who is among the participating couturiers at Vogue Wedding Show 2017, talks about the evolution of wedding couture and how fashion is becoming more accessible to all

About autumn/ fall wedding wear trends, Anita Dongre says that fun elements like obi belts, embroidered jackets and frilly skirts will be the highlights 

Anita Dongre has wowed brides all over the globe with her wedding collection and never fails to fascinate the urban, fun-loving and independent women with her prêt line. Her continuous efforts to revive traditional Indian weaves and support artisans have been recognised by the Indian Government, and her affordable Western wear label AND, the colourful, Boho-chic brand with global appeal Global Desi, a sustainable, eco-friendly and handcrafted clothing line Grassroot, or her signature wedding couture Anita Dongre have gained wide popularity. 

Anita’s wedding collection, which will be showcased at the fifth edition of Vogue Wedding Show 2017 to be held at the Taj Palace, New Delhi, from August 4-6, is a tribute to the Bishnoi tribe of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

“The entire collection is suffused with inspiration drawn from the Bishnoi tribe’s spiritual reverence for nature as well as their harmonious traditions of caring for the environment. Their history reveals that they have staked their lives for saving the khejri trees. The motifs and gota patti embroidery beautifully translate the essence of the khejri onto the silks,” elaborates Anita. The collection boasts deep hues of maroon, ink blue and olive green accented with the label’s signature red fuchsia and royal blue. 

A mix of East and West 
The designer, whose creation was sported by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton during her visit to India, says, “Indian brands are offering heritage designs which are being moulded into new-age silhouettes.” 

Her wedding couture too is a mix of both. “The ensembles showcase the finest handwoven textiles with intricate handcrafted traditional gota patti work while the silhouettes are youthful and modern,” says Anita.  
Grooms go bold 

While Indian bridal wear is more about Indo-Western fusion nowadays, a lot of innovations are also being seen in outfits for grooms. According to Anita, men are now experimenting with new colours and silhouettes and though the classic cream and beige remain, grooms are also opting for bright hues.  

“Today’s grooms wear classic silhouettes with a modern take. Menswear is typically more structured, so it should be well-tailored. Our menswear collection has subtle detailing that adds an element of modernity within the traditional garments. Be it the details on the buttons, the pocket squares, or the butti print on the inner lining of a bandhgala, there’s always a minimal touch of modernity,” she adds while giving a peek into her designs for grooms. 

The big fat Indian wedding  
Indian weddings are not only about the bride and groom, but the whole family comes into the picture.  Hence wedding wear goes beyond what just the bride or groom wears. Says Anita, “I love coordinated looks! And they photograph well too. Since a wedding photo is one that has to last forever, it’s nice to put more thought into curating the looks. I really enjoyed designing for a family from a large industrial house where a child of 6 to a grandmother of 88, all live together in one house. It is lovely to see them all come together for fully coordinated wedding outfits. This experience was special to me because it’s Indian family tradition at its best — when they all live and celebrate together.”

Bollywood and its influence
Anita, who has stayed away from Bollywood, is of the opinion that although the film industry does influence fashion to a great extent, it is often more about one’s personal preferences. “Fashion choices are more or less influenced by society and culture. Bollywood does play a role in determining trends but the modern woman is more likely to be influenced by her personal inclinations towards what’s shown on the runway and global trends,” says Anita. 

Winds of change
Of late, it has been evident that fashion has slowly embraced ‘all’ sizes and is striving to become more affordable, and the ace designer believes that this is bringing about a revolution in the fashion industry. “Beauty and size myths are ceasing to exist. This shift in attitude is a slow process but the beginning of a bold change,” she quips.

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