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In conversation with India’s celebrated designer, Anita Dongre

When one thinks of fashion in the Indian subcontinent, there are a few renowned names that instantly come to mind, Anita Dongre being one of them. Having been the 7th most Googled designer in the world last year, her brand creates western wear, menswear, ethnic wear, bridal, couture, pret and organic clothes as well. With a store in New York, she is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades over the last 12 years, as well as a Bollywood favourite!

A-listers such as Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor have worn the label numerous times, as have renowned personalities like the Duchess of Cambridge, Hilary Clinton, Sophie Trudeau, and Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, whom she recently dressed at the wedding of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas. Anita additionally dressed Priyanka for some of the pre-wedding functions, as well as the Jonas brothers.

anita dongre

We got the chance to have a brief chat with the celebrated desginer about her work, her design philosophy and more.

India and Pakistan share a culture, history and so much more. Do you think there is any difference between the two or are we branches of the same root?

They’re two branches from the original root, honestly…Obviously I’ve been born and brought up in India. I’ve never been to Pakistan but I have many friends there and I’ve heard so much. I’d love to come one day.

Do you think fashion drives Bollywood or Bollywood drives the fashion in India?

I think Bollywood is influenced by fashion, I don’t think Bollywood drives fashion. Today, I think fashion designers are the ones who create trends and Bollywood follows those trends.

anita dongre

From stars, to royalty, to politicians, who do you what to dress next?

I don’t sit and think like that. I just go everyday and I create wonderful designs and I’m very lucky that there are some wonderful men and women who wear my clothes and make them look better than what they are. I’m grateful for that.

What’s your design/thought process when a client walks in requesting a customized wedding outfit?

I have always done this, and the team of stylists that work for me will always guide the woman into buying what is her personality and what she wants. So whether it’s a colour that suits her skin or a colour that she has always imagined she’d get married in, what looks good on her, what’s her body type. The design has to work for her body type. So for me the person who wears me also has to wear her own personality… the design doesn’t wear her, she wears the design.

What drives you to create a new design?

I think the fun of making something new is what drives me. I’m so happy that I’m in a business where you have to constantly make some thing new. It’s exciting.

Any other Bollywood stars, or personalities, you would want to design for?

I’m quite happy with the ones I’m dressing. I would love to dress Kate Middleton again. I would love to see her in something of mine again.

anita dongre

What’s next for you?

For me, it’s always the next collection, that’s all I’m concerned about. My next collection comes out in January at the Lakmé Fashion Week…and then of course just making sure the company and everyone gets more sustainability…my agenda for this year.

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