Elle Style Awards 2017: Anita Dongre and Dia Mirza share mutual respect for each other
Is there anything the queen of prêt can't do?
It has been a bumper year for some of fashion’s biggest and most interesting players — from star-studded collaborations to breakneck expansion and serendipitous discoveries. Meet the candidates who made 2017 well and truly their own.
The all-rounder: Anita Dongre
Anita Dongre ticks all the boxes for leading light of Indian fashion. Her ready-to-wear brand Global Desi scored a 100-store milestone in 2016, her prêt label AND is available at 81-plus stores in India, and her sustainability marque Grassroot enjoys the presence of 10 outposts. Then there’s the new 1,500sq ft flagship Grassroot store in New York’s SoHo. “My biggest milestone was my entry into the US market this year. It has been the busiest year of my career. I haven’t had any time to take a holiday,” she says. Grassroot became a talking point after its New York launch. And even though the label was re-launched in 2015 in India, it was conceived a decade ago. Built on the principles of “revive, sustain and empower”, Dongre works with members of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, a trade union based in Gujarat, and NGO WomenWeave in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, to produce handmade pieces for globetrotting women. “As a designer, it’s my responsibility to celebrate handcrafted traditions by translating village crafts into design. And NYC is the best place to start.”
In 2016, the Duchess of Cambridge wore Dongre’s hand-block-printed tunic while showing off her cricketing skills at Mumbai’s Oval Maidan, winning the designer instant international recognition. In February this year, the Mumbai-based designer finally got a chance to meet Kate Middleton at a reception dinner marking the UK-India Year of Culture, at Buckingham Palace. That the Duchess wore a pair of uncut diamond and pearl drop earrings from Dongre’s PinkCity by Anita Dongre jewellery label to the event, only made it doubly special for her.
From left, on Dongre: Silk dress, silk jacket, metal watch, diamond ring; all Dongre’s own.
On Mirza: Cotton dress, Rs 19,990, Grassroot by Anita Dongre. Gold-plated glass rings, Rs 1,700 each, gold-plated glass ring, Rs 2,500; all Ikroop
“My relationship with Anita is one of admiration and shared respect. She’s not only an artist, but an incredible businesswoman too.” – Dia Mirza
Hair and make-up: Marianna Mukuchyan/Toabh Talent Management
Styling: Divyak D’Souza
Art direction: Prashish More
Photography: Jatin Kampani
Assisted by: Riddhi Vartak, Keyuri Sangoi and Zenia Daruvala (Styling)