Designer Anita Dongre (left) showcased her couture line 'Tree of Life' at ICW 2017.

The 10th edition of India Couture Week 2017 was a great success. We have handpicked some of our favourite names from Indian fashion to give you their take on modern Indian couture. The next in the  ‘Know your designer’ series is designer Anita Dongre, who showcased her collection ‘Tree of Love’ in at the ICW 2017.

Designer Anita Dongre (left) showcased her couture line ‘Tree of Life’ at ICW 2017.

JB: Please tell us something about your new collection. We have seen some interesting bridal trends from your bridal as well as pret lines in the past, what should we be expecting this time?
AD: The AW’17 collection is a tribute to the Bishnoi tribe of Rajasthan. The Bishnoi tribe is most recognised for Amrita Devi and her village’s sacrifice to save the “khejri” trees in the region. It’s this dedication and identification with nature that inspired me to both design this collection and plant a forest of 25000 trees in the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan. 

The motifs and gota pati embroidery beautifully translate the essence of the khejri onto silks. Deep hues of maroon, ink blue and emerald green accented with our signature red fuchsia and royal blues highlight the collection. What is particularly special about this collection is that it is ethereal and light at the same time much like the strong women of the Bishnoi community. It is this sense of strength and beauty that attendees saw at the show.

JB: As a designer, what are the top 3 qualities that you look for in a couture ensemble?
AD: Comfort, wearability, and attention to detail!

JB: If you could change one thing about traditional bridal wear in India, what would it be?
AD: I’d love for traditional Indian wear to go lighter and more comfortable to suit the modern woman’s sensibility. Wedding wear must make a woman feel gorgeous without being impractical. 

JB: What is your take on the current handloom revolution in Indian fashion?
AD: There has been a significant growth in the interest for handloom. Today, we are more conscious of our impact on the environment and that has trickled into the choices we make. I’m grateful to see that people are now using their wallets to demand change and support indigenous textiles. With Grassroot, we’re going one step ahead and making sure fashion benefits the maker as the buyer.

JB: How do you define luxury when it comes to fashion? Would you say that using all things expensive/rare to make an outfit makes it luxurious or is it the art and design that makes it bespoke?
AD: For me, luxury in fashion is hand-crafted garments that have been designed and produced by experts. It’s not so much about how expensive a piece is or how unique the design is, but more about how much-skilled effort has gone into carefully creating each piece to ensure the finest design, fit and quality. The most important part about buying luxury wear is the way it makes you feel.