The Mumbai-based designer, who is known for her feminine silhouettes, said a woman can look pretty and powerful at the same time as strength is something which comes from within. “Everything I create has to be very feminine, comfortable and classic. So for me the whole concept that a strong woman should wear masculine clothes is wrong. Women are women. They should dress like women. We are not here to compete with men. Our strength is inside us,” Anita told Press Trust of India. The designer, who was the first to launch an affordable women office wear brand with ‘AND’, said she finds the concept of power-dressing partial and patriarchal. “I was the first designer to do dresses for office wear. A woman doesn’t need to wear pants to show she is the boss. She can look equally good in a salwar-kameez or a sari or a pretty dress. “Power doesn’t come from clothes it comes from within. The whole idea of power-dressing is botched up.” Anita said more than women, she would like to see men switch to the feminine side of their clothing. “I would love to see men back in dhoti and lungi. These are clothes which are soft and drape well. I believe that is the feminine aspect of men’s clothing in India but it is somewhere lost. Indian weather calls for this fluidity in clothes,” she said. The designer was talking on the sidelines of Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 where she presented her new ...
Renowned fashion designer. Founder of House of Anita Dongre with four distinct brands, AND, Global Desi, Anita Dongre and Anita Dongre Grassroot, she also runs a jewellery brand called Anita Dongre Pink City along with couture. She is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2017 Designer of the Year award from Vogue India.
- Visit site
Discy Latest Questions
Celebrity favourite fashion designer Anita Dongre believes a woman does not need masculine clothing to prove her strength. The Mumbai-based designer, who is known for her feminine silhouettes, said a woman can look pretty and powerful at the same time as strength is something which comes from within. “Everything I create has to be very feminine, comfortable and classic. So for me the whole concept that a strong woman should wear masculine clothes is wrong. Women are women. They should dress like women. We are not here to compete with men. Our strength is inside us,” Anita told PTI. The designer, who was the first to launch an affordable women office wear brand with ‘AND’, said she finds the concept of power-dressing partial and patriarchal. “I was the first designer to do dresses for office wear. A woman doesn’t need to wear pants to show she is the boss. She can look equally good in a salwar-kameez or a sari or a pretty dress. “Power doesn’t come from clothes it comes from within. The whole idea of power-dressing is botched up.” Anita said more than women, she would like to see men switch to the feminine side of their clothing. “I would love to see men back in dhoti and lungi. These are clothes which are soft and drape well. I believe that is the feminine aspect of men’s clothing in India but it is somewhere lost. Indian weather calls for this fluidity in clothes,” she said. The designer was talking on the sidelines of Lakme Fashion Week ...
Collaborating with Tencel for the first time, Anita Dongre has draws inspiration from ‘the first rays of summer’ for her showcase at the forthcoming Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2019. Titled A Summer Reverie, the line uses the pathbreaking fabric that is said to be light and pleasant on the skin, with features such as natural origin, sustainable production, long lasting softness, breathability and biodegradability. “Sustainable textiles are the need of the hour and we look forward to partnering with Tencel to create designs in fabrics that are produced with zero impact on the environment,” the designer was quoted as saying. To be held at Taj Lands End in Mumbai, the show will see a range of jumpsuits, maxi dresses, crop tops, lehengas and skirts fashioned out of Tencel blended with silk and satin. Boasting light and flowing silhouettes, the collection has a cheerful colour palette with hues like yellow, apricot, seafoam, surf blue, onion pink and blush taking centrestage. One can also expect floral prints in pista green, marigold yellow, misty blue, champagne pink and lavender. The menswear line too uses Tencel and comprises kurtas and bundis bearing colourful prints.
If anyone epitomises the success of middle-class values and work ethic in a post lib India, it is fashion designer and entrepreneur Anita Dongre. A graduate of a city fashion academy, who worked her way up the industry ecosystem, with stints in India’s high-fashion exports boom industry in the eighties (an early employer of hers had been Bapa Dhrangadhara, the late Oxford-educated erstwhile Maharajah), she had branched out with the establishment of her fledgling AND label and then steadily gained ground. Today, her House of Anita Dongre straddles four distinct brands and boasts stores across India and has planted its flag in Manhattan too. And, along the way, Dongre has picked up clients as stratospheric as Kate Middleton, Hillary Clinton and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau! But here’s where Dongre’s middle-class values and work ethic has contributed. Unlike the rest of her ilk, she has remained remarkably absent from the usual Indian fashion whirl – Bolly stars as besties and showstoppers and being every high-profile Indian bride’s go-to larger-than-life designer fashion whirl that appears to be the norm currently. Instead, Dongre has quietly and determinedly built the foundations of her business, which is said to be right at the top on the list of the country’s most successful fashion houses as far as the bottom line is concerned (the other two being Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi). Of course, luck has played its part in her success. From amongst the substantial collection of garments undoubtedly sent to her by her stylists, Kate Middleton ...
Among the big shows at the Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) scheduled to begin on 30 January is Anita Dongre’s unveiling of her Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear collection. The collection represents summer at its best, abounding in floral prints, vibrant hues and light and flowing, fuss-free silhouettes. “These garments would be perfect accompaniments to a luxury resort holiday or destination summer weddings,” Dongre says. The highlight, however, is Dongre’s choice of fabric for the collection—Tencel. A branded Lyocell fibre (a form of rayon) extracted from raw wood, Tencel was developed in the 1980s and acquired and promoted by Austrian fibre company Lenzing AG in 2000. The fibre is crafted within a “closed-loop” production system and, according to the company, is biodegradable and compostable. In recent years, the increased focus on sustainable fashion has created a fresh buzz around the fibre. International brands that use Tencel include New York-based labels Mara Hoffman and Jonathan Simkhai, Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and high-street brands like H&M (for its Conscious Exclusive collections), Marks & Spencer and innerwear brands like Jockey. Closer home, Raymond and Arvind have incorporated Tencel in their designs and Lenzing has been operating a small base in India since the last decade, working with retailers and suppliers in South Asia.
Rajasthan’s rich traditions and its time-honoured craft legacy have been the foundation of Anita Dongre’s bridal couture label since its very inception. And now, the designer pays yet another ode to her everlasting inspiration by the way of her latest bridal couture capsule collection, based on the art of Pichhwai. An ancient art form that originated in Nathdwara, Pichhwai paintings are intricate pictorial portrayals inspired by Lord Krishna. Dongre’s collection, which comprises 15 hand painted limited edition pieces, mirrors the same design aesthetic and attention to detail. This painstakingly created line has been in the work for two years now. “Two years ago, when I was in Rajasthan for a shoot, I encountered Lekhrajji, who was painting the walls of City Palace, Jaipur. I was intrigued and inspired by the intricacy of his work and his flawless brushstrokes. We chatted about his craft, and during this time, he also mentioned how inconsistent work was. My creativity is fuelled not just by design, but also by the revival of Indian crafts. I immediately knew that I wanted to give this art another form of life. So I invited Lekhrajji to our design headquarters in Mumbai, and that’s how the Pichhwai collection came to life,” reveals the designer.
I think I have the same hunger today that I had 30 years ago. I feel the same way today as I did when I was driven to fight with my parents to set up my two sewing machines in my balcony. It was the same hunger that urged me to design clothes for my college assignments. I felt the same passion when I made my first collection and showcased it a local stores for the first time.
When I began 30 years ago, it was a whole new world for me. I loved creating beautiful designs; and the industry welcomed me with open arms. Today, there may be too many players in the industry because it has now come of age and every young girl today wants to become a designer. So yes, today it may have reached a saturation point, but back then we had an open canvas. I think the Indian woman has evolved and understands fashion and a designer’s unique sense of style, which allows us designers to have a place of our own.
Launched in 1995, the House of AND, helmed by designer Anita Dongre, began as a line of chic contemporary western wear for Indian woman at a time when not many brands existed. Today the brand boasts of a multi-dimensional portfolio comprising Global Desi, an India-inspired brand of boho-chic ensembles; Anita Dongre Bridal Couture, and Grassroot by Anita Dongre, sustainable artisanal luxury prêt—a tribute to the handcrafted traditions of India, seeking to revive and sustain heirloom traditions and empower artisans in villages. With a rapidly expanding network, the House of AND soon scaled over 280 exclusive brand stores and over 820 multi-brand large format stores in over 105 cities, and internationally entered Mauritius in 2013 and New York City, USA in 2017. In 2013, the brand became the first and the only fashion house in India to be invested in by General Atlantic, a leading global growth investment firm.
On her big day? I think everything should be organized for her big day much in advance, she should be like supremely organised with every little detail. I think on her big day she just needs to get up late and look her fabulous best!