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December 05, 2014

Decoding Designer Dreams: Anita Dongre

Text by Priyanka Monga

Their sartorial perfection is beyond words but their craft is not their only identification. Their ingenuity extends to giving shape and signature to everything that forms their own small world. Designer Anita Dongre finds a harmonious celebration of design and space, discovers Verve

Tradition meets contemporary flair

Her love affair with Rajasthan – the land of royalty and colours is no hidden secret. For years now, the designer has been inspired by the old-world charm of its splendid architecture and vibrance, which she seamlessly blends with modern day elegance to present in her impeccable collections. This time, Dongre’s vision of amalgamating heritage with understated sophistication got translated into reality through her brand new store located at Delhi’s luxury abode, DLF Emporio Mall. Calling it a retail space is an understatement as it’s no less than a mini palace on its own. Dongre shares, “I have been working with Percy Kutar from 4.4 Design to create this store. It has been months of arduous labour and hard work to bring it to life.”

The sprawling 3000-square-foot store has a warm and inviting ambience, exudes luxury but is not intimidating. Rooms within rooms open up, with each section brought alive with a selection of Dongre’s Autumn/Winter ’14 collection carefully placed on the racks. From the tranquil grey, block-printed panels to the rich shades of blue pottery, the Rajasthani artworks contrast beautifully with the black and white checkered flooring. Dongre says that she has made numerous trips to Jaipur and Udaipur to find the perfect furniture and furnishings to befit her new retail space. She explains, “I engaged the artisans there, to work on the furniture. While the furniture was commissioned from Jaipur, the thikri and the bone inlay work chairs are from Udaipur. For the menswear section, we rummaged through the old Delhi bazaars, and acquired lithographs and books on Maharajas, actual photo prints from the days of the Raj, and framed them to add a royal sophisticated feel to the section.”

The designer has always had a yearning that her store should reflect her signature style and resonate with her design philosophy of accessible luxury. For her lavish boutique, Dongre has been meticulously involved in each aspect of the interior design process from selecting lighting, upholstery to furniture. “It’s a great feeling, when clients walk in and voice the same sentiment that the store reminds them of a palace, without being over the top,” Dongre sums up.

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