July 23, 2016 Asmita Aggarwal

Clothes whisperer

It has been 19 years since Anamika launched her label, and for the last 14 years she has been creating couture hoping to silence the clamour of fashion and slow down with intricate embroideries, subtle pearls and heartening glamour.

By Asmita Aggarwal

Shape, colour, craft, direction and most importantly emotions are the foundation of Anamika Khanna’s collections. Even though her line is progressive in its interpretation, the Kolkata-based style maverick always serves up classic ensembles. Like the eponymous dhoti which was modernised to make it a staple or the cape with its circular motion cut and fitted to perfection.

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This time for ICW 2016, Anamika started with the theme, when time stood still…she looked at her boys who were constantly telling their mother to get on Facebook, Twitter and instagram, despite her fervent refusals. “No one tells you to do better work or add more details, but most people are obsessed with getting pictures up on social networking sites. Technology has ruined the mystery of romance, many are now breaking and hooking up on What’s App. But I feel when you are watching a show, if you are constantly taking pictures, you miss out on the continuity and beautiful moments. That stillness is forever lost,” she explains.

Hoping to tame time by igniting a feeling of nostalgia, Anamika unleashed softer and more love soaked hues in a bid to not let go of who we essentially are; as a sea of pearls created moonlit splendour. The craftsmanship is so fine that you can’t see the fabric below and it has taken many man hours to complete this task. “Innovation is the key for me, I always do a line with conviction in the idea without worrying about the hunt for ‘what next?’,” she admits.

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Interestingly, whether it was sari with belts, or vintage motifs, Anamika tries to add a unique twist to existing silhouettes. This time it was the sharara which was tweaked, made high-waisted, quite like a modern pair of trousers. “It is made a bit slimmer, just like the dhoti,” she says.

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In a world where two polar opposites exist, one who say less is more and others who are going overboard, Anamika attempts to strike a balance. Fully embroidered and shining from afar is not her lexicon, she prefers subtle nuances and still holds on to the traditional belief that the technique should be so intricate that the embroidery appears textural. Like the sheer fabrics she embellishes from silk dupion, organza to chanderi.

Though her repertoire is huge and vacillates between Benarasis to jamdanis, being an explorer she tries newer fibres without playing favourites. “The shape the fabric takes after we embellish it reveals a new character. For my ready-to-wear line I have used only cottons, as I do very ethnic or extremely Westernised ensembles. Honestly, the competition is with myself, so I need to be happy with each piece I design,” she concludes.

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