Anita Dongre makes 26 Gujarati craftswomen her showstoppers with Dia Mirza & Lakme Fashion Week winter-festive 2015

Fashion designer Anita Dongre with Bollywood actor Dia Mirza during her show at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2015 in Mumbai on Aug 27, 2015. There was Dia Mirza, but earning more applause and a standing ovation too were 26 craftswomen from Gujarat who took a bow here at Anita Dongre’s show at the Lakme Fashion Week winter-festive 2015, where she unveiled her new Grassroot label.

Bollywood actress and former beauty queen Dia Mirza, who looks as charming in traditional wear as in western outfits, is concerned about how a large part of today’s generation in India finds western outfits “cool”. She hopes they support homegrown creations for the betterment of Indian textile and handloom.

It was a cut above the rest – the fact that the behind-the-scenes workers – looking as real, plain and simple as they are in reality – were brought to a stage which is usually occupied by models, designers and Bollywood’s glitterati.

The crowd, which is generally enamoured by star power, stood up in reverence for the craftswomen as Dia and the designer walked along for the final bow at the show.

Dongre, a celebrated name in the Indian fashion industry and one who has always stressed on the importance of the glorious craftsmanship in India, said: “Handloom and textile needed a revival because somewhere we have forgotten what we are. We need a reminder because youngsters today have stopped buying handwoven garments. Everybody is obsessed with imported and international brands that are coming in.

“It’s high time we should respect our own legacy.”

Dongre’s show did it in every way.

A tree was placed on stage to signify the brand Grassroots, and actress-producer Dia Mirza introduced the theme at the beginning of the show.

The line highlighted the use of crafts like Ahir embroidery from Gujarat, Ikat from Karnataka and Hyderabad, Gota Patti from Rajasthan, weaves of Banaras, intricate Warli and hand block prints, standing true to the brand’s philosophy of ‘Revive, Sustain, Empower’.

The varying styles moved from western to fusion in easy silhouettes with intricate crafts turning out to be the focal point of each piece. The show started with models flaunting white cropped tops with varying sleeves, teamed with black Samurai pants.

It was followed by black and white section, featuring asymmetric striped and solid tunics, shirt waister dresses, cascading poncho tops, capris, slit sleeve capes, front buttoned tubes and cross-over multi-print flared dresses.

The collection also comprised summer frocks, batwing ponchos, striped shifts, pleated skirts and bolero, drop shoulder lean maxi and sharply cut suits.

The final mirror work line moved from smocks and jackets to gowns, floor-length front open maxi, printed peplum blouses and sparkling kurtas matched with orange cropped jackets on indigo, orange and black long lean dresses.

The designer’s premiere collection of eco-conscious bags were functional and displayed the craft of miniature paintings of The Flora Fauna, The Mughal Garden and the Desert Craft Series, which are part of the ancient tradition of Jaipur.

Dongre’s show was attended by names like Shabana Azmi, Sangeeta Bijlani, Sona Mohapatra, Gul Panag, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Sanjay Suri.

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