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Posted at: Mar 14, 2018, 12:45 AM; last updated: Mar 14, 2018, 12:45 AM (IST)

‘Rather than following trends, follow your heart’

Ace designer Anita Dongre talks about ancient Indian crafts, modern Indian bride and everything in between

Manpriya Singh

Just to draw metaphors, she did to the ancient craft of gotta patti what perhaps Diane Furstenberg did to wrap dresses. Or closer home, what Raghavendra Rathore did with bandhgalas. In the fashion world, reinterpretation is even more important than invention. Anita Dongre, draws her craft from the ancient techniques while her inspiration from the global modern woman. 

“I’ve always designed keeping in mind the needs of the global, modern woman. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and the spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada, Sophie Trudeau, are the embodiment of this woman, my muse. It is an honour to dress these inspiring women, who share the same values as I do. Moreover, my style is also feminine, elegant and comfortable, which resonates with these amazing ladies,” she shares when questioned about Kate Middleton and lately Sophie Trudeau sporting her creations during their India tour. 

While gota patti might be her label’s signature element, she also loves to use other Indian weaves and techniques like, resham dori and zardozi. 

Five must haves

Who doesn’t know of the little black dress, the classic white shirt, a pair of blue denims…what, perhaps, women need navigation with is what constitutes the must-have pieces in an Indian wardrobe. She lists out the key pieces while sharing a note on her personal style, which is, “Very basic, simple and encompasses solid colours. Comfort is the key and I love pockets since they are extremely functional.” She adds, “When it comes to Indian-wear, my favourite is the classic saree.” 

Having said that, I think the key garments any woman must have are: 

  • An embroidered jacket that they can wear in different styles. 
  • A pair of versatile dull-gold palazzo pants that can be paired with any Indian kurta or tunic and
  • A pair of jadau Chandbaalis. 
Women she’d love to dress…

There are many people who have inspired me over the years, be it for design or their work. I look up to women like Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Gayatri Devi, among others, who have continued to inspire me over a period of time.

Brides are you listening? 

  • More than following trends, brides must follow their hearts and wear what makes them feel special on their big day. Having said that, we derive our inspiration for this season’s collection from beautiful summer gardens of the country. Apart from our classic lehengas, one could go with wrap tops, sheer skirts, palazzo pants, jackets and draped saris in exquisite light fabrics in beautiful pastels. 
  • My advice to the modern Indian bride is…wear something that complements your personality. Looking gorgeous on your wedding day does not mean you have to add on to who you are. Keep jewellery and makeup within your comfort zone and avoid wearing garments that weigh you down. 


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