Bursting with delicate, embroidered floral motifs and featuring classic silhouettes, Anushree Reddy’s summer weddingcollection Atirah at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2019 married contemporary sensibilities with old school elegance. As models sashayed down the runway clad in resplendent gowns, sarees, and lehengas, one was reminded of Mughal-era sartorial grandeur.
Anushree’s collection danced between soft and airy pastel shades, like frosted almond, apricot, celestial blue, muted yellows, and greens and also featured ruffles, gathers and layers for a dose of drama. Just such an ethereal creation was sported by showstopper Kangana Ranaut, who donned a warm pink rose lehenga with floral jaali work. Talking about her collection and the outfit worn by Kangana, Anushree says, “My collection is called Atirah, which means the fragrance of flowers. So, I have been inspired by pretty flowers and we have chosen rose as our main motif. It has been woven all over Kangana’s lehenga intricately, so that’s pretty much the thought process behind it.” The designer shares more details about Kangana’s embroidered lehenga. “It’s completely hand embroidered; it’s zardozi. I come from Hyderabad so that’s a big specialty there. It took almost 10 karigars (craftsmen) about 395 hours to hand-embroider the whole thing. It’s full of zardozi and old world charm,” she reveals.
Although a little under the weather, Kangana owned the ramp like a ‘queen’. The actress says that walking the ramp came as a breath of fresh air after her warrior princess role in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Talking about her experience she says, “I love walking the ramp for Anushree, I was telling her, I was doing this warrior film and haven’t felt sexy for a while. Today, with the way she dressed me up and how she has done my hair, I feel really polished and really chic and very sexy at the same time, so I am very happy to be here.”
Though Kangana is a true fashion icon and is known to experiment with her style, Anushree says that her reason for choosing the actress as her showstopper was more because of inner strength rather than outer style. “My collection is very feminine but strong at the same time and there was no better person than Kangana to represent this,” she insists. When asked what makes up a strong woman, Kangana points towards inner grit. “I think women are strong overall, and that’s why they do things which test them emotionally. Strength is not about muscles, because we’re not in the age where we have to go and hunt. So in today’s day and age, your mental and emotional strength makes up true strength.”
Along with her philosophy on strength, the Tanu Weds Manu actress also talks about her love for experimental styles and traditional outfits. She says, “I think designers like Anushree, who are reinventing Indian designs, are my favourite, because Indian culture is so vast and we have so much diversity and so many styles. But youngsters need to reinvent it. So in that respect, what I am wearing today has the glory of the past, but at the same time, I’d feel comfortable wearing it on an international platform. I can easily wear it anywhere in the world and still stand out.”