March 19, 2024 FDCI

Princess of style

Niloufer Khanum of Hyderabad was the OG of fashion influencers with her Westernising the sari, adding exquisite pearls and it is this regality that Anushree Reddy recreates in organzas this season for the bride who chooses subtle shine over overt bling.

By Asmita Aggarwal

It has been a ten-year long journey she considers herself lucky that she does occasion wear, which offers both consistency and continuity and according to a CRISIL Research, the Indian wedding and celebration wear apparel market was estimated to be approximately Rs 1100 billion.

 There is no adapting to drastic changes as this sector is robust and it has the unique ability to service itself all year round with the myriad players in the fray. Being in the business you must be aware of all its time taking aspects—marketing, styling, shoots, everything matters to remain relevant to an audience with shifting tastes.

As her forte remains floral prints, Anushree Reddy, felt this USP was soon replicated by competition rather swiftly as the designer landscape has similar products, but today her distinct ethos differentiates her from a sea of also-rans. Her price points and product quality are synonymous, plus having different ventures gets you diverse wedding shoppers.

The zardozi, cut dana, threadwork, pearls, always serenades someone looking for something—whether it is the mother of the bride, the bride, the extended family or cousins. The awareness that a bride brings today on the table is unprecedented. “She may be simpler with fewer elements and bling, but she knows exactly what she wants,” admits Anushree, adding you can’t get away with what you showed last season.

 This year is a year of pastels and soft pinks, plus no one is asking for the once staple ‘red’ with its diminishing popularity, but what she does do is make each piece versatile and personalised. If the lehengas is heavy the second skirt will be much lighter so that she can dance the night away, no one wants to feel restricted. Inspired by Princess Niloufer of Hyderabad, who Anushree terms as the “OG of fashion influencers” she narrates the incredible tale of the Turkish princess, married to a Hyderabadi prince.

The dazzling beauty of Princess Begum Niloufer Khanum Sultana Farhat (1916 –1989) was one of the last princesses of the Ottoman Empire and was married to Prince Moazzam Jaah, the second son of the Nizam of Hyderabad, so it was natural that Anushree dipped into the city’s history she was born in. Many museum runs later and armed with catalogues and photographs she embarked on paying a tribute to this long lost beauty.

Known for her sarees and  jewellery, the princess was photographer Antony Beauchamp’s muse, and was credited for adding Parisian grace to the Indian sarees which were made by Madhav Das in Mumbai. She loved chiffons and crepes, and wore them often with a broad woven Banaras brocade border. “Niloufer was the woman behind the term Indo-Western as her silk saris came with lace frills, and an abundance of sequins — made by even Lanvin in Paris. Custom pieces came from Indian weavers, and till today her wardrobe is still studied by fashion students. Her collection of sarees are now treasured at the New York Institute of Fashion Technology,” explains Anushree, alumnus of the London School of Economics.

The 2024 line by Anushree pays tribute to the grand embroidery that the Princess loved, in silk, net and tissue, with pastels and exquisite embellishments. “Her sari sometimes was designed in France and then when it came to Hyderabad, she had it embroidered by Indian artisans,” adds Anushree who studied vintage photographs almost 100 years old and recreated the magic of her pearls embellished organzas with vintage flowers blooming on diaphanous saris.

Interestingly, that’s not all that Anushree is busy doing, she recently launched get wedding décor company that takes forward in inspiration and style what her occasion wear entails. So, the panthers and bright florals are replicated in her décor company that she believes is an exciting vertical to her already successful business. “The visual language is the same, and it really gives me joy to be a part of the celebration. Not just designing but also taking a leap of faith by deciding the theme and concept of each function,” she concludes.

Tagged: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fashion Design Council of India