She has several firsts and countless prestigious accolades under her belt. Perhaps one of the most (if not the most) exclusive Indian designer who has created a niche for herself overseas that hardly anyone has touched yet, Ritu Beri is back in action with a bridal line.
“It’s bridal season so the collection is justified. It comprises 16 individual glamorous brides, each of them portraying a distinct Ritu Beri look,” says the lady who will be showcasing her collection at Bridal Asia for the first time this year.
“The clothes are all about opulent and elaborate silhouettes, the spirit is intrinsically feminine, romantic, exuding a youthful charm with a feel of sensuality and grandeur. I’ve also used some Swarovski evoking subtle touches of glamour,” informs Beri.
Having joined the industry in 1990, Beri has witnessed a “metamorphosis” of the fashion world over the years. “It has undergone tremendous change. Initially, fashion was more to do with ritual dressing, but now it’s more about being well dressed all the time,” she says.
This metamorphosis obviously holds true when it comes to the fashion sensibilities of Indian brides as well. “Today, brides are looking beyond lehengas and regular colours. They like to set trends on their special day,” she adds, affirming that though she’s known for her fabulous western creations, she enjoys designing both traditional and western outfits and loves “mixing the two to create an individual look that I think is my strength.”
Having been one of the first designers to take part in fashion weeks in Paris a decade ago, Beri observes, “Though India has been a constant inspiration, internationally Indian fashion has just started getting noticed and appreciated.” But we hardly see Beri taking part in the various Indian Fashion Weeks. “I have had a packed agenda and unfortunately my prior commitments did not allow me to be a part of too many Fashion Weeks in India, even though I’ve been part of them before this concept hit India,” Beri explains adding, “I do nothing for the sake of it. I enjoy challenging projects that are worth my time away from my daughter Gia.”
The much talked about HDIL India Couture Week just concluded in Mumbai and Beri thinks it’s been a long time coming. “India is no stranger to couture. History shows us that some of the largest fortunes were spent on luxury by our royalty — the extravagance of the Cartier jewellery bought by the Patiala family, the Louis Vuitton luggage and not to forget the French chiffons worn by the Jaipur royal ladies. Indian designers are basically couture designers,” she says.
Being the first Asian designer to head the French fashion brand, Scherrer — “a fabulous experience through which I evolved a lot as a designer and even more as a person” — Beri is now in the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games to be held in India in 2010 and the bidding committee for the Olympics to be held in Paris in 2012.
After Bridal Asia, Beri has several collections lined up. “The past 18 years I’ve chased my dreams and worked on ambitious projects. I’ve been lucky to experience the world of fashion in India and abroad. I am negotiating with certain international brands right now and hopefully interesting stuff will happen. Regular run-of-the-mill shows bore me. I want to do a show which will be a show in the real sense of the term,” she says. The wait is on.