There is no dearth of designer stores in the Capital and another one does no harm. So, when designer Anita Dongre launched her flagship store at DLF Emporio last month, we already knew what to expect — lots of couture (read bridal) with bits of pret. What we didn’t expect was a big room dedicated to men, a stunning jewellery collection and a wall covered in portraits of Maharajas and their moustaches.
We visit the store a day after the launch and it’s buzzing with business. With Rajasthan as the inspiration, and pink clearly her favourite colour; Dongre has designed herself a spacious store with four rooms that house different collections. The first part offers fuss-free bridal wear, primarily lehengas. Bandhani dupattas, gota patti borders on lehengas, antique dull gold embroidery and cholis in shades of blue, green, purple, off white and even black dominate this section. Our favourite is a white lehenga with intricate chikankari on it, paired with a pink and yellow bandhani dupatta. Finally, there’s a store giving white the respect it deserves at weddings. There is also a blouse with a cape at the back that a new-age bride ought to acquire.
The second section is where the heavy, embroidered red and maroon lehengas are kept. Dongre stays away from tacky and keeps it classy with antique gold embroidery. With a vintage vibe reminiscent of a grandmother’s wedding trousseau, this part of the store will evoke nice memories. There is a lovely trial room too, with a jhula and an old-school mirror.
It’s a one-stop store, and that’s why the jewellery too is worth a look. Titled “Pink City”, it is designed by Dongre in collaboration with Jet gems. The line comprises jhumkas, polka necklaces and cuffs with Meenakari and jadau work. Next to the jewellery display is Dongre’s pret collection for women. Apart from a simple gown, there are suits with lighter embroideries.
While we swoon at the sight of these silk and brocade bridal pieces, our favourite room in the store is where the men rule. An entire wall full of framed photographs of erstwhile, late Maharajas welcomes you. Once you’re done admiring their attire, turn towards the clothes — formal shirts, kurtas with embroideries, waist coats and sherwanis in a range of colours.
It’s exciting to visit a store that houses so much under one roof, but the best bit is that Dongre stays away from garish wedding wear. The prices will burn a hole in your pocket, but then that’s what one pays for luxury.