March 26, 2015 Asmita Aggarwal

Castles In the Air

Anju Modi’s ode to life’s tumultuous journey takes you on an extraordinary adventure into the wilderness and ends up in a fantastical land, as she alters the hue spectrum and  introduces her new obsession—sindoor red with aplomb

By Asmita Aggarwal


From women power with ‘Devi’ and ‘Shakti’ to a mystical fairytale, it was a big leap for Anju Modi, this aut-winter 2015, inspired by the need of hope, romance, mystery and seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.


But what remained constant in Anju’s design directory is handloom fabrics from chanderi, dupion silks, khadi and layering which this time, as always has been deftly executed with natural dyes and prints. Life, she believes mirrors a fairytale with all its elements neatly packed in—from rough patches, evil to finally positivity and the triumph of good. So the entire fantastical world gets an ornate representation through embroidery with the fairy’s buddies, owls, rabbits, mice, swans, dragonflies finding a place on whites, farshis teamed with cigarette pants, as well as floor length, assymetric gowns and draped dresses. “There is a bit of zardosi, sequin, resham and a lot of patchwork done by hand, some machine but in reality executed from the heart,” she smiles.


The idea of a fairytale allows you to shed your inhibitions, lets you fly; tired and bored of doing lehenga saris, Anju to chart a new course, with a fresh palette, unleashed cobalt blues, flaming reds and ivories. “White symbolises purity of heart and it seemed perfect with the theme, how we synergised it, was by relating it with a protagonist’s journey through snow-clad mountains, and subsequently finding the valley of flowers,” she explains.

The neat castles complete with iron gates and little tulips on powder blue tunics, fastened with nifty bows reminding you of Red Riding Hood, were charming; so were the zardosi encrusted moons, sequinned wings, and embroidered white clouds at the backs of cropped jackets with draped fronts, even as grey thread work swans were seen swimming on the borders of red saris. “Checks, horizontal and vertical lines were used to give men’s sherwanis and churidaars an interesting dimension. I wanted to challenge myself and take the road less travelled,” concludes Anju.


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