Anju Modi, a designer who is famed for creating the stunning outfits worn by Deepika Padukone in the movie Ram-Leela, describes how she is still very nervous before fashion shows. This she mentions in relation to the coming Lakme Fashion Week.
“Every show’s preparation is like giving birth. No matter how many times you do it, you’re still anxious and excited and a whole mix of emotions.”
Anju Modi has had her fashion label in the industry since 1990 although it took her a while to get her fashion to Mumbai. She explains, “I never really had time to do more than one showcase. I’ve always had a very hectic schedule, but that is part of the fashion world. A lot of people kept calling me to Mumbai, and I felt that I’d better get to it now.”
The designer has been very busy showcasing her designs at Wills India Fashion Week 2013 and for several years on Ram-Leela. She explains why she wanted to do it now, “I wanted to wipe my slate clean and start from scratch; like an artist with a blank canvas. I wanted to step away from the whole drama of colours that was Ram-Leela and my Draupadi and Panchvati inspired lines. I wanted to do something absolutely fresh and new. After that mental exercise, I felt energized and rejuvenated and found my Utopia that inspired my theme for the upcoming collection.”
The designer is known for designs that have a contemporary edge but also are very wearable. She tries to keep to the Indian traditions as much as possible by using traditional crafts and handlooms. Cotton is her fabric of choice for many of her clothes. All of her designs for Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Romeo and Juliet were in cotton. She explains how there is little difference between designing for a fashion show and designing for a film.
“In both cases, you are working with a storyline. In a movie, the clothes are designed for a purpose while for the ramp; the clothes must speak for themselves. But, the factors of set, music, etc are very similar.” However she states that there are some differences, “You can go a little overboard for a film; the drama in the clothes is acceptable. For the ramp, keeping the commercial viability is important. The clothes have to be wearable.”
Anju Modi is very pleased by how things are going for her label at the moment although she stated her desires for the near future; “I would love to find a small studio space where I can just think and create and leave the commercial and managerial aspects to my son and daughter-in-law who are also part of my label. I don’t want to be bothered by decisions about distribution, how many pieces of each outfit need to be made, and so on.”