Layer by Layer

As she readies to showcase at WIFW today,the quirky Aneeth Arora talks about herself and her latest collection.

Written by Somya Lakhani | Published: February 16, 2012 1:18:07 am

Delhi-based designer Aneeth Arora’s voice can be misleading. Over the phone,she sounds impatient and hassled. But when you meet her,the calm,quiet and relaxed Aneeth,full of idiosyncrasies,puts out a friendly hand. Her studio is a reflection of the person she is and the art (“not fashion”,she says) she represents. Minimalistic décor,off-white plain curtains,a divan with wicker baskets full of fabrics,a fish bowl on the table,a steam iron art piece with two tiny autorickshaws,and fat books on textiles.

Set to showcase her collection from her label,Pero (“to wear” in Rajasthani),at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2012 today,Arora is among those breaking the monotony in the industry with her unafraid style. A graduate of National Institute of Design,Ahmedabad,she debuted as Gen Next designer at Lakme Fashion Week in 2007. Later,she came up with the label,Gaba,along with a co-designer. In was in 2009 that she launched Pero.

Arora never names her collection,there is no first or finale garment and another quirk that makes it to her collection this time is a stitched red heart on every garment. “While I was in Berlin a few months ago,I saw a lot of heart graffiti on the walls and decided to include a single heart in every garment,” she explains. It makes little sense to wear a Pero creation without the layers she adds — a long shirt,another sleeveless shirt on it,a knitted sweater on top of it and a headscarf. “It’s people like you and me or the homeless on the street and how we all dress up,that I put on the ramp,” she says.

Her autumn-winter 2012 collection has already been showcased in Berlin last month. “I have worked extensively with artisans from across India and used fabrics such as thick khadi from West Bengal,cotton,pashmina from Kashmir and included hand-knitted sweaters from Kumaon,” she says. Trousers,gloves,mufflers,pullovers,knitted caps,scarves and dresses are part of this range.

They all boast a tattered look and are un-ironed.

Arora retails from some of the biggest stores: Ogaan,Ensemble,Bombay Elektrik and even Taj Khazana. Her clothes are a hit,especially in Europe,and now she plans to start a range of traditional Indian wear. Ask her if she too has any Bollywood dreams and she giggles a little and says,“When I think of working on a Bollywood project,I think Aamir Khan. Though some of my Ajrakh scarves have been used by Mira Nair for her film The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”

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