Anita Dongre Talks Weddings, 'That' Kate Middleton Dress & 'Jaipur Love'by | August 05, 2019
A plethora of colours befitting the glorious name meet the seeker's eye in Anita Dongre's latest collection titled 'Jaipur Love', inspired as the name suggests, by the Pink City—"a living museum", as per the designer herself. Having mastered the art of impeccable presentation long before, her craft shines through the clothes that are as majestic as their inspiration; the scenic flora and fauna are delicately embroidered on the array of hues acting as canvases, as are the motifs of resplendent architecture that best describes Jaipur's coalesced history.
As the cultural romanticism and deep-rooted heritage of the city amalgamate to give form to a collection with stories crafted in its fabric, Anita Dongre sits down with us to talk about what Jaipur means to her, the upcoming wedding season in India, and the impact of technology on consumerism. Read on.
Luxeva: The Duchess of Cambridge wore a dress from your label and it instantly sold out. Tell us about the influence it had on the Indian consumer's mind, back then when it went viral.
Anita Dongre: "The kind of impact she had was gigantic. It’s been two years now since she wore the dress from our label and curiously enough, we still have people writing to us, some sending a picture of her saying they want the exact version and that in itself speaks volumes about the huge fashion influence!"
Luxeva: How would you describe your latest collection and the process that went behind it?
Anita Dongre: "Jaipur has been a constant source of inspiration for me, ever since I started the bridal line, which almost seems like ages ago. My first collection was also inspired by the 'Pink City' and I think somehow, I keep going back to Jaipur because it continues to instil inspiration in me. With its heritage, unparalleled craft and culture, it is a place that exudes different insights every single time and one could interpret them in so many ways."
Luxeva: Do you think that high-profile celebrity weddings, like the slew we witnessed in the last year, help raise the economy or elevate certain trends?
Anita Dongre: "I think high-profile weddings definitely create a lot of digital content that everyone is consuming because there is a certain element of fascination that keeps people wired and creates an air of curiosity. What they are doing, what they are wearing; all of it does create awareness in terms of the brand. But I think the customers who get drawn to us come to it because they firmly believe in the brand aesthetic, as opposed to being influenced."
Luxeva: There is also the case of hands-on documentation online. What do you make of it?
Anita Dongre: "For me, it’s like a digital photo album; it’s easy and accessible. Technology has evolved and with it, it has brought about this new change where everything is aimed to be easier."
Luxeva: Half of India’s population is under the age of 30. Do you see a difference in millennials as consumers of fashion?
Anita Dongre: "Yes, of course. The younger generation is definitely more aware, they are active on Instagram, and know what everyone is doing. In my opinion, my client is no stranger to her sartorial style and what suits her best; she is well informed of when the next collection drops and before she comes to me, she has pretty much made up her mind and knows what she wants to wear. More than anything else, I like that millennials know their mind and are expressive about it. I have noticed more and more working professionals who drop by, and though they may be pressed for time, they are focussed and go for what they like."
Luxeva: The wedding season is just around the corner. What are some of your key styling tips for prospective brides and grooms?
Anita Dongre: "Currently, I am obsessed with twinning looks and I simply love them! I think it’s adorable when a bride and groom want to match and it’s something that one could opt for on their wedding day."
Luxeva: What are your thoughts on unconventional wedding looks, is it something that you would advise?
Anita Dongre: "You need to be comfortable at your own wedding, so if pairing your lehenga with sneakers is what you want, so be it! I just had a bride in the US [United States Of America] wear a lehenga that she chose from the label and style it with a pair of sneakers and it made me happy."
Luxeva: A wedding can be a hectic affair. What, do you feel, is the most important thing to keep in mind when one shops for their trousseau?
Anita Dongre: "It’s important to be well organised. Especially if you have a busy schedule, you need to plan well in order to get everything done in time. Make sure your lehenga and entire trousseau are delivered to you, and that you don’t bookmark them for the eleventh hour. You should avoid the last-minute stress; you want to be enjoying your very special occasion."
Luxeva: A wedding trousseau is something that isn't normally re-worn. Keeping the limitations in mind, how do you think one can practice sustainability when it comes to wedding outfits?
Anita Dongre: "Even when designing with an Indian wedding in mind, I am someone who prefers her lehengas to be very light and comfortable, choosing to make them wearable. When it comes to ceremonial wear, I don’t see why a lot of attires cannot be worn again for, let’s say, a closed ceremony. I always encourage my clients to re-wear their wedding lehengas; they can absolutely be styled differently and re-worn, starting from the choli being worn again with a saree."