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And there's more...


THIS EXCLUSIVE women's store, located on the Commercial Street, has a rather unusual name - And. Walk in, and you notice that the interiors and the clothes are not run-of-the-mill either. The two-floor store is structured in such a way that the clothes take centrestage, whatever corner they may be in. Designed by Anita Dongre, the clothes have unusual cuts, necklines, and colours. What's more, they are not just for the slim and trim brigade, but for women in all sizes, be it trousers, skirts, or tops.

The collection has clothes in imported linen with embroidery (priced at Rs. 795 upwards), semi formals in georgettes (Rs. 660 onwards), and shirts for working women in whites, printed material, and plain olive greens. Sure hit are the peasant tops, funky in designs that can be worn with skirts or trousers. There are also formals with matching jackets and blazers, scarves in unusual colours, short figure-hugging frocks, table tops, spaghetti blouses, to name a few.

While the ground floor displays trendy Western outfits, the first floor goes ethnic, with a dash of the modern, though. Here there is an interesting range of Indo-Western outfits.

These are specially designed for those "fashionable, yet a little conservative" lot.

In the party wear section, the clothes have intricate embroidery.

Some have delicate silver and gold thread work. These are priced at Rs. 1,085 upwards. Clothes in natural material such as jute also find a place on the racks. They are priced at Rs. 2,000 upwards. The place also offers bags and purses in synthetic leather, designed, like all other stuff here, "keeping the working woman in mind".

But why the name And? "Because, it offered tremendous potential for growth. I keep adding a lot of lines, and I thought that the name And would help me to do that. For example, I recently launched the And East Collection in Bangalore," explains Anita, who also has two stores in Mumbai - And and Anita Dongre Couture. She says with pride that many bigwigs pick up clothes from her stores.

She will be designing clothes for a film early next year.

The latest offering from this designer is her Blue Elephant Collection, in which she has played around with colours and textures using the traditional tie-and-dye material.

What is striking about this collection is that instead of the vibrant colours normally used in this art, she uses subtle colours.

This collection, explains Anitha, was aimed to give a new dimension to the art of tie-and-dye.

The attempt is to make the old craft trendy and wearable.

As an Indian designer, she believes that it is her duty to promote and sustain traditional arts and crafts.

And why would a Mumbai-based designer want to make Bangalore her market? "It is the only city after Mumbai, which has a large working women force. The women in Bangalore are also hip and trendy and like to wear Western outfits."

And can be contacted on 5559975/5593051.

SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

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