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Why Bollywood Loves Arpita Mehta

By ANITA AIKARA
March 03, 2022 09:24 IST
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From Madhuri Dixit Nene, Malaika Arora to Ananya Panday and Sonam Kapoor, Designer Arpita Mehta has styled just about every big name in Bollywood.

IMAGE: Designer Arpita Mehta dressed in a mirrorwork jacket from her collection.
All photographs: Kind courtesy Arpita Mehta/Instagram

Last year Designer Arpita Mehta made a splash with her coffee table book which featured the Who's Who of Bollywood.

Mirror By Arpita Mehta celebrated her 10th anniversary in the fashion industry with 10 beautiful, amazing leading ladies.

In the book, Sonakshi Sinha gushed about how she 'doesn't remember feeling anything but great and beautiful in the designer's outfits.'

Athiya Shetty revealed that 'when she wears an Arpita Mehta (outfit), she instantly feels confident and strong.'

As for Tara Sutaria, the designer reminded her of the gypsy in all of us. 'The outfits I have worn have always oozed a bohemian spirit that every girl has inside her.'

Arpita is known to have a look up her sleeve for every occasion.

Her style has a little of everything -- boldness, flamboyance, dreaminess, comfort, sass and glamour.

Fashion doesn't always need to be plain Jane, it can be sexy and luxurious, comfy and unique... and that's what Arpita tries to achieve with her stunning silhouettes.

That's probably the reason why the designer's clothes make Sonam Kapoor look 'beautiful, pretty and light'.

'I instantly feel like I am looking hot when dressed in an Arpita Mehta creation,' Sonam shared at the coffee book launch.

"Whenever I'm designing, I'm always thinking of myself as to what I'd like to wear," the designer reveals.

"For me, it is not the destination that is important, but the journey indeed. It's essential to take your time and develop an individual aesthetic that will make your work stand out," Arpita tells Anita Aikara/Rediff.com.

IMAGE: Pretty in pink! Kiara Advani serves up serious wedding style inspiration in a raspberry pink and cream organza lehenga set from Arpita's collection.

Did you always want to be a designer?

Yes! I always knew it in my gut, and there was never another plan.

Bridal kaftans are such a dreamy concept...how did you come up with the idea?

The whole reason I started designing was to design clothes for myself.

I wanted to walk out in something I personally loved wearing. And so, I chose to create it.

Whenever I'm designing, I'm always thinking of myself as to what I'd like to wear, and that's how this came about.

It happens very often at weddings or in between events, that one wants to be comfortable but at the same time not lose out on style.

Hence, we came up with the concept of dressy kaftans which are the perfect amalgamation of both and the right fit for a mood such as this.

Your bridal silhouettes are fun and quirky yet bold and fearless.
Comfort reigns supreme over all the fuss-free looks in your collections.
What is the thought process behind creating such lovely garments?

I think one feels most confident and beautiful when they're comfortable.

So, that was something I always keep in mind.

My clothes are a blend of comfort, luxury and uniqueness that create the perfect balance.

IMAGE: Modern haldi looks for brides. The models are dressed in yellow and pink floral print organza lehengas paired with rose gold chain mail blouses and matching dupattas.

How did the lockdown change you as a designer?

The pandemic has surely given us all some time to reflect and reassess.

For me, the lockdown has brought a lot of clarity and direction in my vision and path forward especially when it comes to working.

How has your heritage and background inspired your fashion aesthetics?

I'm a strong believer in childhood memories always being a key influence in one's life.

Subconsciously, I think one's heritage and aesthetic is always a part of their growth that one embedded while creating experiences every day.

When I was trying to find inspiration and the unique direction I would take to create my signature design aesthetic, I looked into all the influences that shaped me.

I felt heavily inspired by all the things I had seen in my childhood and that helped me fine tune my path.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career?

The biggest thing one needs in order to bring the vision to reality is the people who help you do it.

One of the challenges I faced was putting together the correct team to bring my designs to life.

IMAGE: Tara Sutaria keeps it simple and comfy in a printed kaftan by the designer.

The one lesson you have learnt being a designer.

It's not the destination that is important, but the journey indeed.

And I think this applies in every profession.

One must show up every day, put their best foot forward and enjoy the process rather than just chasing the goal.

Which Indian fabrics would you like to revive given a chance?

Our country has such lovely textiles rooted in our culture.

I would truly like to figure out an authentic way of producing Bandhani in bulk.

With the system we have right now, it's tough to make quantities.

A designer whose work you admire.

One should always love their work, so I'd say our own.

IMAGE: Bride Meghna Goyal looked gorgeous in a flaming red floral print hand-embroidered tiered ruffle sari, teamed with a gold hand-embroidered blouse.

The most expensive outfit you have designed.

More than expensive, I'd like to mention a very special sari we made for a bride this wedding season.

It was a red floral tiered sari and blouse for one of our clients, Meghna Goyal.

It was understated, romantic, beautiful and just the way our bride imagined it to be.

The craziest client requirement you have handled so far.

Haha, I think over these years of handling clients, I've seen so many, that nothing seems too crazy now!

IMAGE: Ananya Panday's look from Mirror By Arpita Mehta.

The Bollywood celeb you are most comfortable working with.

I'd have to say Sonam and Ananya.

Sonam is somebody I have known for quite a while.

She's extremely easy and fun to work with.

What's best is that she's experimental and pushes you to always do better.

While Ananya is completely chill.

Her energy is truly infectious and it's always super comfortable to work with her.

Any tips for young, aspiring fashion designers?

I think what's extremely important is to be unique and find your own signature style.

It's essential to take your time and develop an individual aesthetic that will make your work stand out.

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ANITA AIKARA / Rediff.com