'The Indian bride wants to enjoy her wedding', says Anita Dongre
We find Anita Dongre in jolly spirits hours before the premier showcase of her Jaipur Love collection at the Shaadi by Marriott event. Perhaps the most coveted bridal couture line in the country, the collection expresses the designer's fascination with the 'pink city' through design and artistry. A trailblazer in her own right, and of course, unfazed by any pre-runway jitters, Dongre helped us understand how her inspirations behind wedding fashion changed with the transformation of the Indian bride. "The Indian bride has changed over the years. She wants to have fun at her own wedding, she's dancing at her own wedding, and she wants to be comfortable!" Dongre remarks.
With Love, Jaipur
Her festive winter line is all about joie de vivre, which represents the 21st-century regality that is traditional at its core but with a contemporary finish. The collection borrows from Jaipur's exquisite architecture and is embellished with age-old crafts such as Gota Patti, zari, zardosi, and cut dana embroidery, featuring jewel-toned hues, sorbet shades and some festive pastels. Her fine jewellery label Pink City is all about the sartorial brilliance of her handmade classic numbers, which feature uncut polki, minakari and precious gemstones.
"When I started designing bridal eight years ago I really wanted to bring in the sense of ease and comfort to the bridal wear spectrum. The Indian bride is looking for clothing that doesn't weigh her down, and she's looking for comfort, femininity and something sexy at the same time. My line is colourful, breezy and wearable. In jewellery, I focus on versatile split pieces which you can wear on your wedding day, and then again, maybe when you dress down in a black dress. I'm a woman and I don't see the point in buying big chunky pieces with no repeat value which you can wear only once" the designer tells us.
The Jaipur Love collection is about honouring the diverse heritage of Rajasthan and is inspired by Jaipur's unique blend of Rajputana and Mughal motifs, showcasing a remarkable intermingling of cultures. We asked her to predict some of the bridal colour trends for the oncoming shaadi season. "For this season, my two particular favourite hues are this rose pink shade, which is like a Jaipur Gulaabi and it is so unusual, and this lovely fresh sorbet pink which we have used," she adds.
For the curvy bride...
In a country, where bridal couture has never been for the curvier woman, Dongre has consistently catered to brides of all sizes. "Even when I started designing 20 years ago, I did sizes 8-18. I'll always want women to embrace their curves. When I debuted 20 years ago, people only worked with one size, which was medium. They just believed all women were born medium! And being a woman myself, having had a kid, having been gone through changes, I've always made all my brands size-inclusive," said the designer who has advocated for body positivity throughout her career.