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Heart couture

Eat, drink and sleep fashion. That's Kolkata-based designer Anshu Modi's raison d'etre


W hat's common to Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen besides their drop-dead looks? Well, they've both worn Anshu Modi on the ramp. In Chennai last week to participate in a fashion fund-raiser, the media-shy Anshu spoke to Metro Plus. Excerpts:

You've been designing for over two decades. Though rooted in tradition, how do you manage to reinvent yourself with every show?

Our crafts heritage offers a rich reservoir of ideas. There is so much to draw from it in terms of motifs, weaves and embroidery. Ethnic crafts are greatly inspired by Nature. And that precisely is my motivation too. With Nature and tradition, there are seamless possibilities. I also mix and match varied forms of embroidery to give my couture a touch of rarity.

With gusty cross cultural winds blowing, do you think ethnic couture will continue to lure the younger generation?

Classicism is my forte. Nevertheless, I've responded to changing tastes in my own way. My prêt line is for the young. It's a fast paced life. If they feel comfortable in Western clothes, why should we stop them? I think it's a sensible choice.

What about outlandish clothes showcased on the ramp...

True... they don't come mainstream. Only the models can carry them of. I can't comment more than that for I don't create such clothes.


What's the essence of your design philosophy?

Fashion to me is not about trends. It's about choice, comfort and expressing individuality. I will not blindly follow a particular trend just because it's in. I prefer to make clothes that are primarily elegant and wearable. Even my prêt line is designed on these lines. There is an element of adventure and experimentation - but it is understated.

What actually spurs you to design?

Art and beautiful women. You have to live art to create aesthetic designs. A good designer is someone who is obsessed with his work. It might sound clichéd, but yes... I eat, drink and sleep fashion. Mine is couture that comes from the heart. And it's this passion that's reflected in my designs.

What about the Chennai show, is it an attempt to test waters?

The fashion scene is still in its nascent stage here. So a signature store is ruled out for now. As for this show, it's not an attempt to determine market potential. On the other hand, it's for charity. I am a very simple, god-fearing type. I don't party or walk the ramp after my shows. Yet, I am here because it is for a cause. In fact, I cancelled some important engagements to make it.

T. KRITHIKA REDDY

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