Kolkata-based designer Anamika Khanna, who will present the finale today, talks about her career choice in a chat about her home city serving as an inspiration
Q. You are known for your signature pieces like the dhoti sari and capes. Will you present a new must-have garment structure?
A. You will see a lot of innovation. It’s a theme that allows me to push myself and try new things, yet keeping my own signature. There’s a lot of deconstruction I am working with which I have not done before. You will see structure, you will also see fluidity at the same time. I want to do a timeless collection. It’s got nothing to do with the season, or get defined by anything.
Designer Anamika Khanna would love to go back to painting and dancing, some day. Pic/Shadab Khan
Q. What are the fabrics used to keep this balance of sculpting and fluidity?
A. We are using a lot of silk dupion and canvas and other materials that will give a structure. We are also using softer fabrics like satin dupion, crepe and chiffon to give it that fluidity.
Q. Why don’t we see more of you in Mumbai?
A. It’s very hard to keep running from Kolkata. I think I am a bit shy and I like to hide in my space and just work on design. That’s what excites me the most. I am also going to be associated in Delhi with the Fashion Week in a small way. It’s a big thing for me. I hope there are no big projects for sometime. I am really tired, I don’t want to do anything.
Q. Kolkata seems to be an inspirational city with Sabyasachi Mukherjee being the opening designer for the week and you doing the finale...
A. I am very proud of that fact. When we started, we were branded like ‘Oh from Kolkata; it’s a village, what clothes are they gonna do, blah blah’. But I think we have come a long way and people have begun to respect Kolkata and the fashion that comes out of the city. The fact that it is away from the hub of fashion (Mumbai and Delhi), away from the social activities, helps. We have our own quiet space where life is not hectic. I can go to my office in my pajamas and chappals and that’s fine and that makes a difference. If you come to Cal u feel it.
Q. Other than fashion what are the things that interest you?
A. There are a lot of things. I want to go back to Indian classical dancing and painting. At one point of time, I wanted to be an Indian classical dancer. But I was not allowed to take it to a professional level as I come from a traditional Indian family, Luckily, I chanced upon fashion. And crime serials! Anything to do with murder, law and order, courtrooms and lawyers. Every night I watch one murder and sleep. It’s horrible!