Friday, March 1, 2024

Fashion designer Anita Dongre celebrates the world’s inherent beauty

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Since her establishment in 1995, Anita Dongre has crafted a diverse fashion empire, housing AND for Western wear, Global Desi for contemporary styles, Grassroot for sustainable luxury, and Pinkcity for exquisite jewellery. In an exclusive interview with The Kurator, we delve into Dongre’s world, focusing on her recent ‘Rewild’23’ fashion show—a blend of art, fashion, and an ever-evolving commitment to nature and elephant conservation.

“Fashion For Good is woven into our DNA. We see fashion as a tool for positive social impact. Rewild has been a labour of love. Elephants, as gentle matriarchs shaping the forest ecosystem, hold a special place in my heart. Our designs, heavily inspired by nature, seek to unite changemakers advocating peaceful co-existence,” Dongre shares.

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The collection showcased quintessential Rajasthani techniques—block-printing, Kantha, gota-patti, and beadwork—embodied in modern silhouettes. Dongre adeptly balanced tradition and modernity, affirming, “To sustain our heritage crafts, we bring the old into the new. The show extended our modern Indian aesthetic, transcending traditional settings.”

Rewild’23 show
Image Credit: Supplied

Inspired by the beauty of the forest, Dongre elaborates, “Rewilding is about peaceful co-existence with all living beings. Motifs of birds, leaves, and florals were translated into contemporary silhouettes using age-old techniques and crafts.”

Sustainability took center stage, incorporating repurposed flowers and Lantana-made elephant sculptures. Dongre says “Our world is already beautiful; we aimed to showcase and celebrate it. Surrounded by the timeless City Palace and Jaipur’s splendour, our effort was to highlight the natural landscape. Mindful creation is crucial to preserve our planet’s resources and wildlife.”

For Dongre, women empowerment is intrinsic to her brand’s values. “Women are at the heart of everything we do. The visit to the PDKF atelier showcased the incredible efforts of Princess Gauravi. Employing women in Rajasthan empowers them financially, creating positive ripples in families and communities. We’re excited to collaborate on upcoming projects, sustaining the ecosystem.”

The ‘Rewild’23’ show saw overwhelming support from guests associated with the cause. Dongre asserts, “Whether celebrity or not, it’s vital to stand up for causes that matter. That’s what creates a positive social impact.”

Launching Grassroot Home due to consumer demand, Dongre affirms, “Our foundation for Grassroot was to create ground–level employment, sustaining our artisans. This venture is a natural extension of our mission.”

Anita Dongre’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of sustainable fashion, where each creation tells a story of purpose, commitment, and a synchronised coexistence with the world.

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