New Delhi: Mini Mathur, considered one of the most stylishly dressed celebrities in Mumbai`s social circuit, has created an exclusive range of 15 handloom saris for a soon-to-open store owned by superstar Salman Khan`s sister Alvira Agnihotri. But she doesn`t want to make a "business" out of her design instincts.
Her line is reflective of her personal style, which is subtle, understated and elegant.
"My range is basically about my personality and my type of saris. I am putting together a collection, which has 15 exclusive saris, which are handpicked, hand-styled and I have got the blouses done myself," Mini told on the phone from Mumbai.
"Since this line is an exact extension of my personal style, I am just putting my signature on the label to give it a more personal touch. Like I said, I don`t want to start a proper business," she added.
The designs will be available at Alvira`s multi-designer store Ahakzai, which she`s launching with Ashley Rebello in Mumbai`s upmarket Bandra west area Oct 27.
Mini`s saris are an outcome of almost a month of research and meeting with weavers from across India.
"It`s not something that I am looking at as a future business venture at all. Alvira is opening her new store and she has always been very appreciative of (my style) whenever I wear saris. I wear mostly handloom saris. Even on TV, I have been spotted wearing handloom saris, that don`t have any Bollywood bling," said Mini, who has flaunted saris on music reality show "Indian Idol".
"My saris are very traditional, yet I wear them with a lot of colour. So every time Alvira saw me, she was like, `I love what you are wearing`. She had been telling me for quite a long time to design a line for her, and I never took it seriously. But finally, she pinched me down and I said, `Okay, let`s do it`," she added.
Mini, who has been a successful video jockey and has anchored several live events and reality shows, says she doesn`t know anything about designing. But she knows how to put different things together in a presentable way.
"I always mix-and-match my saris with very vibrant blouses, which people never think of. It`s not the usual matching. It`s all handwoven (stuff) and funky young colours put together with blouses and accessories that are very trendy," she said.
It took Mini around a month to make the sari range, which has been sourced from places like Delhi, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. She says her range has a "shock value" attached to it.
"Everyone wants a little drama in their look. My saris have a sort of drama, but they stick to an organic palette. From cotton to chanderi, Kolkata silk to tussar silk, the collection is trendy with a lot of my favourite funky colours including lime, pink, chocolate and white," said the popular face, who is married to filmmaker Kabir Khan.
She believes "there is no other garment more beautiful and sexier than a sari".
"I would love it when youngsters also try to wear a bit of our tradition instead of gowns. You can wear trendy colours and follow trends, and this can happen in saris too. It doesn`t need to be dresses all the time," she said.
Mini also feels that while women in Delhi go for handloom saris, Mumbai is high on net and Swarovski-studded six yards.
"I have grown up wearing saris and I wore saris during my college days in Delhi too. So, I believe a sari can be worn casually too."
While her close friend Maria Goretti is already eyeing the creations, Mini says she loves it "when some of the big names drop their nets and Swarovski and try handwoven saris".
Among Indian actresses, she feels Konkana Sensharma and Nandita Das exude style and elegance in a sari.