Marrying traditional sensibilities with contemporary silhouettes has become a staple of any Arpita Mehta creation. Over the years, it’s easy to pick out an AM creation in the crowd, her stamp is there in the delicate embroidery and mirror work used innovatively which take a simple outfit to wowza.
From her beginnings in apparel manufacture and dress design from SNDT University, she honed her skills under designer Manish Malhotra for two years and launched her own label ‘Arpita Mehta’ a few years later. Her descent in Bollywood was perhaps fated. Plenty of A-listers like Madhuri Dixit, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, and Malaika Arora have worn her ensembles.
So, when the time came to look back at her 10 year-long journey, she chose to go with a coffee table book. Detailing what went behind campaigns she loves and inspiration behind them, Arpita has come out with a 250-page thick book titled The Mirror which features Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Ananya Pandey, Tara Sutaria, Kiara Advani, Vaani Kapoor wearing some of her most iconic looks.
She gets talking with Hyderabad Today about taking a year to come out with the book and what she takes away from every collection.
Tells us what made you want to come out with ‘The Mirror’.
I have always been driven by strong visuals of a campaign. The book was something I always wanted to do, but in a celebratory way. I didn’t want to come out with a coffee table book just for the sake of it. What one sees in the book are many moods of the brand and its presentation through my lens. There are a lot of photographs shot by me that became inspirations for many collections. It is heavy on images.
What do you think stayed consistent over the years?
I think the mirror work is done in a very unique way. It’s glamorous, contemporary and understated and, at the same time, it’s very fun whether it’s Indian wear or Western cuts.
You have worked with many actors in Bollywood. What did you take away from that experience?
I feel me as a designer and them as an actor… we are adding to each other’s knowledge where design and fashion are concerned. They know what works on them. All are amazing in their own way. Working with Madhuri Dixit is a dream come true. She is someone I have grown up watching and loving. Whenever I work with her, it feels surreal that I am working with one of my childhood dream actors. It’s very exciting.
How do you think you have grown as a designer?
Every time I start a collection, there are different challenges as we are trying something new. So there is always this question of how will we do it and achieve that vision. I feel there is a constant growth with every season. It’s learning with every collection. That is a fun part rather than an achievement.
Was there any collection that has stood out for you?
The ‘Paradiso’ collection was a literal inspiration from the island city of Mykonos in Greece. The city is known for its beauty and scenic sunsets. We literally made a print inspired by the cobbled streets of the city in fabrics like georgette satin, flat chiffon, organza in hues of blue and yellow.
What sort of trends will we get to see this year?
We will see people wearing whatever they want as they have been deprived of it last year having been cooped up. No one was able to go out and attend weddings, functions. Depending on the event, you can expect OTT to understated outfits.