From celebrity showstoppers to her new store, Hyderabad's Anushree Reddy looks back at 10 years of her label
Bridesmaids dresses and trousseaus launched Anushree Reddy’s career around 10 summers ago. The designer, known for her seamless mix of florals, her love for pastels and pink and her penchant for zardosi recently completed a decade in the fashion industry. We caught up with her to talk about her journey, the turning points and what has made her one of the most successful designers from the City of Nizams.
“I began by designing ensembles for the bride’s mother, sister, bridesmaids, everyone who was an integral part of a wedding. From then until now, the journey has been a memorable one,” reminisces Anushree. From her small studio in the city to her four-storey design house shortly, she has come a long way. And we learn that she will be making a foray into resort wear and menswear as well. However, at the outset, one must note that Anushree remained unabashedly feminine in her designs and her patrons seem to like that consistency, especially the brides. The designer is also known for garnering national recognition for quintessential Hyderabadi elegance when it comes to embroidery.
Stars on the runway
From the beginning with brides in this city to dressing some of the biggest names in Bollywood — Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Katrina Kaif and Malaika Arora — her journey has been spectacular. Her line of showstoppers during fashion weeks have been star-studded as well.“Working with every showstopper has been a surreal experience.
There’s a different kind of joy when you watch someone on the big screen and then have the opportunity to design for them and work with them. Right from Shilpa Shetty to Sania Mirza, and Ananya Panday to Alia Bhatt, it’s been a pleasure designing for each and every one of them,” says Anushree. It is as if the fashion landscape of the city changed and grew with her in the last 10 years. “There were a few designers who made their mark in the city, but not too many had their roots here. That has changed considerably now, because the clientele’s outlook towards the wedding, especially the bridal wear market has changed too. People are a lot more welcoming of different designs, patterns, and styles, giving us a lot more space to work with,” shares the Hyderabad-based designer.
Of myriad inspirations
Looking back, the designer counts her debut at the Lakmé Fashion Week — Talent Box Summer-Resort 2013 edition — to be the exact moment where she was confident of the fact that she has arrived. Her choice of muses, her themes for different collections have been regal and often rooted in Hyderabadi history.
“I handpick my influences and themes,” says the designer whose collection inspired by Princess Niloufer was a memorable one. Talking about her top pick from her work, Anushree shares, “I think my absolute favourite is the Portobello Collection that we designed back in 2014. It was an ode to an Indian designer’s love for all things vintage with a mix of our Indian roots. The gamut comprised anarkalis, lehengas, and edgy saris. We shifted from floral prints to newspaper and measuring tape prints which were completely offbeat back then. The detailed handiwork with Victorian-era prints made them contemporary yet classic and the colour palettes of dull and rose pinks, greens, beige, and lavender was like a fairytale saga coming to life! Everything about that collection is still fresh in my mind.”
However, working on new collections and runways looked different this year, given the pandemic. But somehow, Anushree found the motivation to keep going and even worked on other verticals and her new store. “I tried to look forward and create again. After all these months, we are now set to launch a spacious flagship store in Hyderabad,” says the alumna of London School of Economics.
She tells us, with excitement, that this new store will be home to all her collections and fashion lines, including the soon-to-launch western wear range as well. It will be a diversion from the opulent traditional style and it will feature contemporary wear — a new introduction to Anushree’s body of work. “I spent all of my time on research, drew inspiration from magazines, books, shows, and sitcoms, to plan collections that went beyond the usual nature-inspired ones I do,” says the couturier.
That is not all. Her creativity is no longer confined to apparel. She also unveiled her wedding décors vertical, which she feels is a natural extension of her love for all things bridal. “I wanted to create décors that complement bride’s look on her big day,” shares Anushree, adding that she is waiting for the store launch with bated breath.
— Paulami Sen