Homespun and haute
Tradition with a trendy twist, that's Anju Modi's mantra. T. KRITHIKA REDDY talks to the designer
Anju Modi is on a high. Just back from successful shows abroad, the ace designer was in the city to launch her latest line "Spice". And true to it's name, her couture is inspired by Indian culture.
"Mirch, vermillion, turmeric, saffron... there's so much to draw from our milieu," she says, unwinding at the coffee shop at The Park. "Culture is the continuing thread in couture. Success in today's design world depends on how change and continuity are balanced out. After all, fashion is a cycle. What's out today is in tomorrow. Only the treatment or interpretation has to be original," she adds.
Having woven her way through the Indian textile terrain in the past 15 years, Anju has worked closely with weavers and craftsmen in remote villages across the country. "The challenge lies in dipping into the rich heritage of handlooms and fashioning them to suit modern sensibilities."
And that precisely is reflected in her collection, both pret and haute couture, at Evoluzione, Khader Nawaz Khan Road. Traditional tie-and-dye makes a stylish statement in skirts and tops, while saris with inventive touches seamlessly cross over from puja to party wear!
Homespun and haute. That's Anju for you. "Yes... the future is about fabrics that breathe. And that's why designers are turning to handloom and cotton in a big way. As far as styling goes, the fusion look is here to stay."
"If you recall, that was the trend forecast at the Lakme India Fashion Week too," says Anju, a regular at the extravaganza. Nevertheless, she is also critical of the show. "It's no doubt a good concept. But it's time to put creativity before hype, enrich the drama of designing than resort to antics on the ramp. It's sometimes sad that such superficial preoccupations undermine the serious work of designers."
Though a stickler for tradition, Anju is not against the invasion by Western styles and fashion houses. "It's not practical to argue against the trend in the context of a global village. What's important is to counter this with a greater level of competence and commitment. With fads passing out in a flash, designers too need to be futuristic and quick to respond to changes."
And what about her personal style? "Simple and understated. I go for white and perk it up with vibrant accessories," she says, pointing out to her chic white attire and an ethnic bag with a cacophonous colour scheme. "Individuality always shines with a simple aesthetic," she adds. True... that's not just about Anju's creations, it's about the persona as well.
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