July 16, 2014 Asmita Aggarwal

The Game-changer

Anamika Khanna is reaching out through a multi-visual medium to give her India Couture Week line a distinct flavour and also a peek into her ingenious thought process

By Asmita Aggarwal

She is a trained classical dancer, painted in school and got straight A’s in academics. But being the eldest among three sisters, Anamika Khanna was raised in a conservative family which hoped that the girls would find careers which they loved. All three did. Painting, jewellery design and fashion; creative arts which the siblings excelled in.

Interestingly, Anamika is what they proverbially term as the ‘woman of substance’ that’s why you won’t see her pandering to fads that govern the sudden twists and turns in a world dominated by fickle trends which as swiftly as they come, fade away into oblivion. She can be safely called the enchantress of the catwalk, and this year she is back at the India Couture Week 2014, with a collection that best defines her—incommensurable.

“A lot of people think that I don’t do ghagra -cholis, but actually I dress a lot of brides albeit in my own way without sticking to the prescribed norms of conservative trousseau jargon. This time, I have played with the idea of textile decay, as seeing old pieces bring back a surge of memories. But the effort was to try and give a new lease of life to the craft, so we decided to do a line which transitions from soft, romantic to a more contemporary take on what it will be in the future by dipping into what it was a century ago,” says Anamika.

Besides organising an installation in her Kolkata store at the end of the month where she will let discerning critics into the world of Anamika Khanna and her thought process she will tell you that this multi-visual media is her desperate attempt to look beyond the obvious ways of viewing high fashion. “The India Couture Week line is not wispy, in fact quite strong in terms of lines, shapes and cuts. I have moved on to a tribal space, from the time I started inspired by a book which I saw on South African prints which resulted in my first ever line after I won the Damania Fashion Award,” she says.

The ICW line will see an intrepid mix of tribal embroideries with lace (handmade by Anamika), which has been given a beaten down vintage look. “I am very clear about what works in India, as the Indian body is a certain way. Some volumes work, but you shouldn’t look like you have draped a blanket around you by trying to go overboard with your fashion choices. I like to play with sheer and volume, so if one part is cut close to the body the other is kept flowing, two contrasts which make a heady combination,” she smiles.

The ICW collection, which again will be nameless like the many before, as she hates to limit it by giving tags, will have 30 styles, embroidery and colour but executed in Anamika’s distinct style, so it begins with pastels and goes on pinks, with tribal-esque motifs in a colour spectrum that favours burnt reds, rust and burgundy, placing old textiles in a new format.

“We have stripped the colours of their intensity to give a washed out feel, giving it a new ethos. I wanted to have an exhibition with photos, installations and sculptures rather than a show as it will give critics a chance to see my ensembles up close and personal from July 24 for seven days,” she confides.

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Anamika Khanna – Luxury 2014, an art installation of her couture creations is going to be held on July 27, 2014 in her Kolkata flagship store. What this space for more!

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Fashion Design Council of India