Launching her first flagship retailer in Hyderabad, designer Anita Dongre says the pandemic has made individuals rejoice elegant, timeless kinds
Digital is a realistic path to take in the course of the pandemic, even for luxurious labels. The style world had at all times believed that prêt might be offered on-line however couture, which necessitates a personalised strategy, is finest achieved in individual. Now, even that phase is exploring newer strategies; video consultations, as an illustration, to maintain the enterprise afloat. However, with the following ‘Unlock’s and the festive-wedding season bringing cheer to the style and textile sector, designer Anita Dongre took the leap of religion and launched her first flagship retailer in Hyderabad not too long ago, assured of patronage from the town’s splurge-happy clientele with deep pockets.
The preliminary plan was to open in summer time and 50% of the work had been accomplished by mid-March. Resuming work in October, the shop opened in time for the festive and wedding ceremony season. Clients can go to by appointment, complying with COVID-19 security norms. As Anita places it, “Buying luxury is a sensory experience unmatched by the internet despite our every effort to create a seamless extension.”
Art meets structure
Designed by architect Shonan Purie Trehan of Labwerk, the three-storey retailer unfold over 4,000 sq. toes displays Anita’s fondness for Rajasthani artwork and structure. “This was a rundown structure and it’s been a pleasure to transform it into a home where art, fashion and emotion live. The façade is inspired by the stepwells of Rajasthan, and the interiors are filled with things that inspire me every day — Pichhwai paintings with scenes from nature, stone, marble and antique artwork,” explains Anita.
A 50-year-old classic ensemble worn by Pashtun girls within the area bordering Afghanistan greets guests on the entrance. The multi-coloured beads, threads and tassels narrate tales of embroidery traditions within the desert land. Anita emphasises that celebration of workmanship has been the core of her work, be it couture for women and men, the sustainable prêt line Grassroot, or her jewelry line Pink City.
As weddings grew to become smaller and intimate, Anita launched her assortment ‘Love Song 2020’, which she phrases as an ode to the close-knit household celebrations throughout her childhood days. Launching this assortment in the course of the pandemic was sheer coincidence, she shares: “We conceptualised Love Song pre-lockdown, in a world that now feels so far away. It’s been a relevant collection.”
Dhaaga, the capsule assortment that’s hand embroidered by the ladies of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) and the designer’s signature ensembles with gota patti work additionally proceed to be related.
Though there was a dent in sale volumes throughout designer labels, Anita appears to be like on the silver lining — of style changing into private, and traditional kinds being celebrated: “To be honest, this has always been my aesthetic — fuss-free, elegant and timeless,” she says, taking delight in her ensembles standing the check of time.
When the pandemic set in, there was a rise in dialog about sustainable existence and shopping for handmade, handcrafted ensembles. Anita is raring to gauge how lengthy this strategy will final: “Defining who benefits from every rupee spent has come into the spotlight. I hope more people adopt this approach with continued messaging to support local [crafts and artisans],” she says.
In June, Anita Dongre Foundation skilled artisans within the rural clusters of Charoti and Dhanaveri in Maharastra to fabricate masks for distribution in rural areas and to COVID-19 frontline employees. “I have always believed in using design for good and fashion to empower. My commitment to that truth has only grown stronger in this hour of need,” she says.