Actor Priyanka Mondal flaunts four looks from Anushree Malhotra's all-white festive edit
The edit is simple enough for anyone to slip into it without much deliberation and classy enough to make them turn heads at any sundowner
For Anushree Malhotra responsible fashion is not a new-found trend but a way of life for the past 12 years. The couturier, known for her unique designs in Bengal looms, is responsible for running a women-led team of 90 from the Dhapa area in the bypass, who help give shape to the finished outfits of the eponymous label. "The women are involved on a regular basis in our stitching, eco-printing and embroidery work thereby ensuring a decent livelihood for them. The women are trained by me and my core team. Besides this, I work closely with a cluster of weavers in the Phulia and Katwa districts of Bengal from where we source our fabric and weaves," says the petite designer.
A favourite among the Tollywood celebrities, the couturier's Puja collection is a melange of all that defines the autumnal festivity -- right from the white fluffy clouds in the bright blue sky, the white kaash flowers, lotuses to shiuli the collection takes inspiration from everything associated with Durga Puja.
"This festive collection is inspired by Sarater Aakash (autumn sky) and Siuli flowers that also denote the arrival of the pujas and hence the entire range is majorly white. I have kept the cuts and silhouettes simple yet elegant and the fabric used is soft and comfortable and entirely handwoven," says Anushree, while talking about the festive range.
Keeping the sartorial preferences of the young millennials in mind, Anushree ensured that each outfit is simple enough for anyone to slip into it without much deliberation and classy enough to make them turn heads at any sundowner or informal gatherings. Hence there is a whole range of cool kaftans, oversized Jamdani shirts and slip-ons and double-layered dresses to choose from.
"Taking the humid weather during the Pujas into account, I have used handwoven skin-soothing organic fabrics that can also be styled in different ways. The most eye-catching trend during this Puja is co-ord sets which are fun and trendy and available in my collection too," she tells us.
Anushree feels that in this post-pandemic world, everyone is looking for fashion with a purpose and if any piece they buy goes to support the needy weavers, they are all the more for it. For the designer, any festive wardrobe should comprise essentials such as a comfortable pair of shoes, a simple yet stylish dress and a handwoven sari.
"To channel the festive look, accessorising the outfit in the right way is very important. One can wear very trendy shoes or a statement piece of jewellery or an eye-catching belt. But it shouldn't look overdone and one shouldn't wear all of them together. For pandal hopping, it's always better to slip into a comfy pair of flats and a free-flowing dress or kaftan. Keep it thoughtful and unique," she advises.
Anushree's other upcoming collections are focused on hand embroidery and co-ord sets that will have a rich showcase of the near-extinct Kashmiri and Parsi stitches. "Reviving and preserving this fast-vanishing art of stitching is one of my priorities. I not only want to make the wearer look trendy and stylish but also feel that they are buying and preserving an art form," she signs off.
Here are four looks in white from the collection adorned by none other than the pretty actor Priyanka Mondal.
Available at 24/A Old Ballygunge Second Lane. On anushreemalhitra.com. Price on request.
The best time of the year
From food, fashion and pandal hopping to prized memories, actress Priyanka Mondal shares all things Puja with us.
From my childhood days, I have only worn Indian and ethnic clothes during Durga Puja. I love wearing unique salwar kurtas and saris in comfortable fabric during these five days. But for the last few years, I have been only wearing saris for all four days of the festival. Generally, I wear all kinds of colours and weaves but Nabami night is very special to me and I make sure to wear a gorgeous black sari on that evening.
To accessorise my Puja looks, I wear lots of bangles, either silver or glass and traditional big earrings with the saris. I love that glowy look with a touch of base and highlighter and smoky eyes.
How I spend my Pujas:
No matter what, I try to avoid working on the five days of the Pujas. Since I am not a morning person most of my plans during the pujas are usually kept for the night. I usually like spending the Pujas catching up with my friends over dinner besides a little bit of pandal hopping.
This year too my plans are more or less the same. I will be hosting a dinner party at my home for friends on Ashtami or Nabami night.
I am gifting myself a nice watch this year.
There's no diet during the Pujas and I indulge in all sorts of sin foods including biryani, rolls and fries.
Most memorable Puja incident: It goes back to childhood when like everyone other kid I used to wait for days to wear the new clothes that my parents used to buy for me. I miss that excitement to wear them and go out during the Pujas.
What Pujas mean to me:
The joyfulness all around is simply infectious. I think everyone forgets their day-to-day problems during these four days. Durga Puja for me is a symbol of strength to overcome our failures and shortcomings and be a happier and better person.
CREDITS: Pictures: Kaustav Saikia / Hair and makeup: Abhijit Paul, assisted by Sananda Mondal Laha / Styling: Anupam Chatterjee / Jewellery: Earthaments