When it comes to female designers in India, Anamika Khanna springs up as one of the firsts in the list. Born in Jodhpur on 19 July 1971, Anamika Khanna is one of the shining stars of the Indian fashion industry who has made a breakthrough without any formal training. In 1995, she began her journey in the fashion industry with her label ‘Anamika Khanna’ and created off-trend designs in the world of fashion. The driving force of Anamika Khanna is her philosophy in fashion and perception of enhancing individuality with an impulse of adding essence in designs. Her designs represent the crafts and techniques of India with a global appeal.
Anamika had no formal training and god-father in fashion. She had an inter-caste love marriage and became the mother of twin sons at 25. She was a classical dancer and wanted to paint. Anamika used to sketch very well. A stunning book on African textiles pulled her into fashion. She used a sewing machine to juxtapose textiles and textures, chiffon, woven, flat and uneven to create a garment that won the Damania award in 1998. Anamika Khanna learned fashion instead of relying on pure creative impulses. She went to workshops at the museum like the Victoria and Albert (V&A) in London, institutes in Paris and imbibed tips on how to make a woman looker slimmer by cutting a garment, about pattern making, how to create cross-back, fitting armholes and shoulders and began to follow trends.
· Her Contribution
Anamika Khanna strolled into the fashion world to achieve some success with her modest dreams in Kolkata. But somebody at par with excellence as Anamika could not be helped being noticed. Her exclusive designs became the talk of the town and bestowed her international acclaim. She was the first Indian designer to showcase her designs with Manish Arora in 2007 Paris fashion week. Anamika Khanna’s fashion ideas are about incorporating art in fashion. She believes in avant-garde couture creations which are perfect to be framed and cherished. Her obligation is to create an awe striking majestic appeal in her designs and to inculpate the special feeling and confidence in the wearer.
· A Perfectly Blended Indian Traditional Designer
Anamika Khanna believes in creating alluring yet comfortable couture. Her collections are inclined to more pragmatic apparel than hyper innovative intricated designs. Multiple layers and subtle golden embroideries, zardozi work and black, ivory as well as pastel shade pallet are some of her signature styles. Her love for embroidery is seen in her collections where she uses a plethora of crafting techniques to achieve the desired effect. Her neat cuts and multiple layers allow the buyers to experiment with the fragmented elements of the ensembles in distinct styles. Anamika Khanna is renowned for her spectacular styling talent and accredited for styling top bollywood actresses for magazine cover shoots and red carpets. Anamika Khanna presented her new collection ‘Luxury 2014’ in her hometown Kolkata at Indian Couture week. Her collection had vintage-themed designs that were crafted using over 35 embroidery techniques. She lavishly subsumed English floral prints and embroidered appliqués in her neat silhouettes of Anglo Indian designs.
She has revolutionized saree draping and her exquisite designs of hybrid saree versions enthralled the Bollywood divas. Her saree drapes set a statement for their unconventional look and ease at the movement. Many celebrities have fondly donned her unique and ravish sarees at red carpet events. Celebrities frequently adorning Anamika Khanna creations include Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor and Yami Gautam.
Anamika Khanna started her career in the year 1998. She was invited to Pakistan to display her bridal collections in Bridal Asia 2003. The very next year, she launched her international label called Anamika and showcased her collections at the Lakme Fashion Week Grand Finale. Anamika Khanna displayed her collection “The Botanist” at the Will’s Fashion Wee Spring/Summer edition 2005. She also participated in the London Fashion Week. She got contracts from the British department store Harrods. Her designs were covered by several renowned magazines such as Glamour (Paris), Vogue (October 2005 edition in the UK) and Vogue Best Buy.
She took part in the Paris Fashion Week along with Manish Arora. In 2008, she presented her signature cowl-shaped dresses that closely resembled the dhoti worn by Mahatma Gandhi at HDIL India Couture Week. She also participated in the Grand finale of Will’s Lifestyle Fashion Week Autumn/Winter edition.
She was the finale designer at the Lakme Fashion Week Fall/Winter edition in 2009. The very next year, she took part in The India Premier London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter collection. She showcased her creations at the Lakme Summer Resort 2011. Her signature dhoti-pants together with sari drapes and floor-length jackets were displayed at the Delhi Couture Week. In 2013, at the PCJ Delhi Couture Week, her collection included shararas, capes, gilets, vests and coats with a color combination of black, white and gold.
Anamika Khanna is associated with Bulgari Singapore. She has also showcased her collection at Bvlgari’s India launch 2014. She introduced several trends at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer, 2015. Some trends include lip colors like dark burgundy and geometric shapes in the form of golden leaves. In 2016, for her show at India Couture Week, she associated with Amrapali Jewelers, Jaipur to debut her jewelry collection. The line-up had everything from traditional naths to timeless polki.
At LFW 2018, she displayed a collection influenced by various tribes of the world and an amalgamation of the very modern and experimental. It had deconstruction, fringe and print in a palette of creme, ecru, red and the black. The collection was about strong and powerful women.
Her unique and distinct sense of styling separates created ripples in the fashion industry. It is now a real deal. Dhoti saree that everyone is raving about right now is her brainchild, and so is the idea of using a cape for the Indian attire. Signatures like these put them on a scaffold and what keeps them going for over a few decades.