With a heart full of unwavering love for traditional Hyderabadi designs, self-taught fashion designer Anushree Reddy is all about weaving a touch of India onto her bridal ensembles. In an exclusive chat with us, the floral-loving fashionista celebrates her decade-long career, unravels her love for the country, and stitches together tips for an intimate wedding. By Bayar Jain
T+L India: This year marks your 10th anniversary in the industry. What has the journey been like, and how did it all begin?
Anushree Reddy: I started off as a fashion editor for a magazine in my hometown, Hyderabad, more than a decade ago. Soon after, I realised that I wanted to create designs and not just talk or write about them. During my editorial tenure, I met some wonderful designers and attended events that taught me a lot. Soon after I stepped down from being an editor and set foot in the fashion industry. My love for art and fabrics worked to my advantage when I started off. I began my journey as a trousseau designer—designing ensembles for the bride tribe. I then gradually moved to the bridal-wear segment once the demand started coming in. Since then, until now, the journey has been amazing!
T+L India: What are some differences you’ve noticed in the industry during your career?
Anushree Reddy: When I started out, there weren’t many fashion labels that originated from Hyderabad. There were a few celebrated designers whose stores had made their mark in the city, but no designers who had their roots here. That has changed considerably now because the clientele’s outlook towards the wedding category, especially the bridal-wear market, has changed too. People are a lot more welcoming of different designs, patterns, and styles, giving us a lot more space to work with.
T+L India: Tell us a little bit about the exclusive #WhyWeLoveIndia potlis and the design inspiration. Why potlis, specifically?
Anushree Reddy: #WhyWeLoveIndia is very close to my heart; everything I create has some sort of Hyderabadi or Nizami touch, which draws from my roots. The idea of potlis came to me when I wanted to add an accessory for Indian outfits so as to offer a complete ensemble. Of course, it had to be traditional and the embroidery on the outfits had to extend to the potlis. So instead of carrying bags to events, you carry all your finery and essentials in the potli, inspired by India and its heritage.
T+L India: Do elements of India reflect in your work?
Anushree Reddy: I draw my influences from Hyderabad, my birthplace, which is rich with artisans and traditional embroidery that come out very boldly in the designs we create. I’m especially fond of zardozi and cutdana, which I incorporate in most of my designs. The Nizami lihaaz (modesty) and tehzeeb (culture) that are so delicate and poised are depicted through the light florals that are signature to my style. The vibrancy that Hyderabad beholds also shines through my work, I’d like to believe. So yes, in many ways, most of my influences are drawn from where I was born and raised.
T+L India: How does travel inspire you as a designer?
Anushree Reddy: Not just me, but I think travel inspires every artist and designer out there. Every season we need to come up with new collections and designs, and constantly need to stay inspired; travel boosts that in a huge way. The colour palettes of cafes, the many gardens that I’ve visited, the artworks that lie behind the walls of museums, the many vintage locations that India is proud of…all of these in some way or the other inspire us to draw from them and create something better each season.
I think my hometown, Hyderabad, and Lucknow, are two places that I owe a lot to for my work. The rich craftsmanship and artisanal values there have inspired me tremendously. A lot of my work highlights the beauty of these locations.
T+L India: When it comes to Indian styles and patterns, which one is your favourite and why?
Anushree Reddy: Needless to say, with patterns, florals will always be my favourite. They are my go-to pattern at any time of the year. I also love vintage prints, similar to the ones I used for my Portobello collection that was showcased at Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW). Floral prints and zardozi embroidery are my favourites, which you’ll often see in my creations.
T+L India: Going forward, weddings are expected to be more intimate and eco-conscious. Any tips on how one can dress for the occasion?
Anushree Reddy: Use a light colour palette and nothing that’s too gaudy to hurt the eyes. Brides often forget that when a wedding attire is too heavy, it lies around for eternity because you never end up wearing it again. But now that there’s an opportunity to go minimal, it’s wise to wear creations that are simple, stately, and can be used again, too. Keep accessories at a minimum and use flowers for the hair that can then be later discarded or recycled.
T+L India: Your predictions for bridal wear trends this season?
- Light pastels because weddings are now intimate affairs and you don’t want anything that’s over-the-top.
- Flowy silhouettes that are minimal and fit well. Opt for heels, especially in the monsoon.
- Jewellery that’s light and appealing and not too heavy. Opt for soft materials like chiffon and crepe, over heavy velvets and georgettes that are difficult to manage.
T+L India: Your top three places in India for retail therapy?
Anushree Reddy: Mumbai, Benares (Varanasi), and Delhi. All of these offer amazing shopping experiences—right from local traditional buys to exclusive luxury ensembles.
T+L India: A place in India you would like to visit once the situation improves?
Anushree Reddy: I’d love to visit Srinagar! It’s no surprise that I’m a nature lover—a lot of which comes across through my designs, too. And what better place than Srinagar to bask in the glory of nature! The Dal Lake, the Tulip Garden—all of it is so pretty and there’s so much to draw inspiration from there.
To stand a chance at winning an exclusive #WhyWeLoveIndia potli, designed by Anushree Reddy herself, click here!