Women don't need to wear pants to show they are the boss: designer Anita Dongre


Speaking at the sidelines of Lakme Fashion Week Summer in Mumbai, designer Anita Dongre says the idea of power-dressing is botched up, adding that power comes from within.

Celebrity favourite fashion designer Anita Dongre believes a woman does not need masculine clothing to prove her strength.

The Mumbai-based designer, known for her feminine silhouettes, said a woman can look pretty and powerful at the same time as strength is something that comes from within.

"Everything I create has to be very feminine, comfortable and classic. So for me, the whole concept that a strong woman should wear masculine clothes is wrong. Women are women. They should dress like women. We are not here to compete with men. Our strength is inside us," said Anita.

The designer, who was the first to launch an affordable women office wear brand with 'AND', said she finds the concept of power-dressing partial and patriarchal. She said,

"I was the first designer to do dresses for office wear. A woman doesn't need to wear pants to show she is the boss. She can look equally good in a salwar-kameez or a sari or a pretty dress. Power doesn't come from clothes it comes from within. The whole idea of power-dressing is botched up."

Anita said more than women, she would like to see men switch to the feminine side of their clothing.

"I would love to see men back in dhoti and lungi. These are clothes which are soft and drape well. I believe that is the feminine aspect of men's clothing in India but it is somewhere lost. Indian weather calls for this fluidity in clothes," she said.

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Sustainable fashion on the horizon

Fashion designer Anita Dongre's aim is to bring sustainable fashion to the mainstream by creating garments that can be worn by people from all walks of life.

The designer, presenting her new collection "Summer Reveire" in collaboration with Tencel at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2019, believes it is important for fashion labels to keep the pricing moderate to promote sustainability at a larger level.

She said, "I want to make sustainable fashion mainstream. So, whatever you do, your daily choice can be sustainable. My aim is to show that it is not boring. It can be exciting and fashionable.

"I want people to understand the importance of sustainable fashion that's why my new collection is a ready-to-wear line and beautifully priced," added Anita. The celebrity-favourite couturier says she always wanted to be an "accessible" designer.

Image Credit: Cleo Vermij on Unsplash

"I was never making clothes for the niche. That's why I launched two affordable brands. And this new range does the same but under the Anita Dongre label, " she added.

Her new pret (ready to wear) range draws inspiration from the first rays of summer. The silhouettes are light with hues of yellow, apricot, seafoam, surf blue, onion pink and blush. Playful summer prints in pista green, marigold yellow, misty blue, champagne pink and cheerful lavender present exquisite flowers in all their bloom.

The collection features light-weight lehengas, colourful maxi dresses, jumpsuits and crop tops with skirts.

"It's a very happy and vibrant collection. The pieces are young, contemporary and easy silhouettes which anybody can wear," Anita said.

Talking about her partnership with Tencel, the designer said she is looking forward to a long collaboration with the textile brand which creates sustainable fibres using a "closed-loop" production process to create fabrics.

"We are committed to sustainability and at the House of Anita Dongre, we are committed to partner with larger manufacturing houses who are also producing fibres sustainably. With Tencel it a very long partnership we are looking at."

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