You could see her eyes wet with tears when her talented daughter was handed over a cheque by Vogue, and celebrated for design excellence. Like all mothers, for Aneeth Arora’s simple mom, it was a proud moment. “Yes, my parents are very sentimental, if anyone praises me, my mom breaks down,” says Aneeth.
It is this straightforwardness and honesty that got reflected in her magnificent WIFW line that for a change didn’t objectify women by making body hugging dresses, but gave them options for comfort dressing. “I put ease before fashion, for me that is imperative, clothes must become you, not impose themselves on you changing who you are,” she smiles.
In the world of fashion, which is often dominated by aggressive marketing and PR, Aneeth prefers to work quietly, many times in silence as that quietness helps her create magic on the catwalk.
Like gracefulness which is a constant part of her personality, ikats, checks, Bandhini and Jamevars too have remained her soulmates. “I work with weavers who are languishing in the digital age, I can’t suddenly abandon them as textiles are not fashionable anymore. I owe sustenance to them, so I work with not seasonally, but regularly,” says Aneeth.
Maybe that’s why the line that was showcased at WIFW started a year ago, in May when Aneeth decided the fast fading circus culture would be her muse. “Isn’t it fun, the circus? We all went for it as kids and it kind of has this innocence and vulnerability which greatly appealed to me. I didn’t do Moulin Rouge kind of a circus it was just elements that I picked up from there like the music and the props,” she says.
But if you notice carefully, the insides of her ensembles are as clean and riveting as the external appearances. So ikat was dexterously executed on dresses and shirts as well as the insides of jackets, and checks emerged on wool, but there were also casual cashmeres drapes and Bandhini palazzos. “Green I didn’t know was in fashion, I did it as I like it, I don’t follow trends nor forecasts, only later did I realize I was bang on, just by accident, when people told me it is big colour for winter,” she laughs.
Not tampering much with the originality of ikat, keeping it just the way it is meant to be, except for the colour story, Aneeth likes the austereness of checks. “Checks were the first designs to emerge when weaving started, before motifs and jacquards came along. They are very basic, graphic and blend well with every textile that I work with,” she adds.
Feeling beautiful and managing to look beautiful is a feat that is often difficult to accomplish at the same time, but this maverick has managed to master this art, almost perfecting it.