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The Rajasthan-born designer first burst onto the scene in a huge way when the Duchess of Cambridge showed up to an engagement wearing Dongre’s Gulrukh Tunic Dress during a 2016 tour of India and Bhutan.
“Those pictures were just amazing. She played cricket in them and it just got her in a really happy state of mind. And subsequently, she’s also worn a pair of Pink City earrings for a reception at Buckingham Palace, for which I attended too. I chatted with her and she’s amazing! Warm, loves India and wants to visit Rajasthan again,” Dongre tells E! News of meeting Kate.
And if you’re curious if the “Kate Effect” is still a thing with that dress years later, it definitely is. According to Dongre, “It still goes on, you’re not going to believe it! We’re still surprised because it’s been such a long time and we still get so many requests from all over the world asking us to make this dress that she wore.”
Duchess Kate isn’t the only international superstar to wear jewelry from Dongre’s Pink City collection. Our other queen Beyonce looked super chic in Pink City collection jewels when she performed at Isha Ambani‘s extravagant wedding in late December of last year.
The designer shared, “she’s such an amazing woman. It was great to see that she was in Udaipur, another city in Rajasthan, the region from where I originate and she wore a pair of handcrafted earrings that are handmade in Jaipur. Udaipur is a city that is very close to Jaipur and that’s where the wedding was so that also felt very, very special.”
Dongre was also ever-present at Chopra and Nick Jonas‘ marathon wedding in Jodhpur, India having dressed Kevin Jonas, Danielle Jonas, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner head to toe for the pre-wedding Mehendi Ceremony.
“I was the only Indian designer who has a huge flagship store for wedding wear in Soho, New York. So most of the family visited us here and we outfitted them from the new collection. They’re just such a lovely, lovely family. It was great to introduce Indian fashion to them because that was the first time they’d walked into an Indian designer’s store and they were just amazed at the kind of craftsmanship and workmanship that Indian-wear had,” Dongre shared.
Chopra has also worn Anita Dongre to a number of events and celebrations throughout the years. She loves Dongre’s style so much that E! News learned at the time that Chopra made sure there was an Anita Dongre pop-up shop inside the Umaid Bhawan Palace for her wedding so all of their guests had access to traditional Indian-wear for each wedding event.
Kim Kardashian West wore a Dongre-designed lehenga on the cover of the March 2018 issue of Vogue India, another special piece for Dongre. Dongre worked directly with KKW’s stylist for that shoot, but the lehenga that she chose hit close to home for the designer.
“She wore a very, very special lehenga, which I love. A lot of my work and my design is inspired by Rajasthan or the wildlife in Rajasthan. So this was inspired by a wildlife sanctuary three hours away from Jaipur. She looked amazing in it. It had hundreds of these little exquisite hand embroideries all around the skirt,” Dongre revealed.
The inspiration for many of Dongre’s collections come from her native Rajasthan, making each piece she creates very sentimental. Dongre shared, “I have an emotional attachment to that place because my grandparents come from there and I spent all my childhood years there. It’s just the legacy of craft, especially everything that is hand done in the region.”
Clearly, a lot of celebrities gravitate toward Dongre’s culture-rich and inspired pieces too, but there are still some stars she’s yet to dress. She’d love to get her clothing on “anyone who would share all my value systems of being vegan and being sustainable. There are a lot of wonderful women who are wearing their lives by these value systems. Jennifer Lopez, she’s amazing!”