She is one of the gorgeous divas in the country. We have seen her as an actor, as an anchor, as a model but now Mandira Bedi is here in an all-new avatar, that of a fashion designer! What’s more, she is all set to showcase her collection at the Lakme Fashion Week this March. We decided to get up, close and personal with the fashionista right before the exhibition of her exclusive saree collection at the Spicy Sangria Bangalore Exhibition 2014, to hear what made her don the designer hat and more.
Q. Hi Mandira! Congratulations on being chosen to showcase as a designer at the Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort. So what made you turn a fashion designer?
A.This was while the show 24 was on. Actually, even before that. Around Diwali in 2012, I picked up some fabric and made some sarees and wore them at a couple of parties. I was hugely complimented for these and that’s when my husband (Raj Kaushal) came up with this idea that I design more sarees. I started taking up designing sarees seriously around August last year. I took part in some exhibitions, including one at Singapore and all of them were complete sell outs. Seeing the response I decided to open my store on October 26 and then applied for Lakme Fashion Week.
Q. So are you only designing sarees under the MB label or do we see different stuff as well?
A. I am only focusing on sarees as I feel I know the saree well. I have been wearing sarees for the last ten years now. People associate me with it. People call me and ask for my view if they want to pick up a saree. That’s why I feel I understand it pretty well. I realise that overtly blingy and heavy sarees are not comfortable to wear. Hence my sarees are less blingy and have a lot of colours.
Q.What kind of fabric do you use?
A.I am using a lot of tassar silk, chiffon, georgette and net.
Q.Who is your target crowd? Who according to you is a true MB woman?
AHonestly, its only been five months that I got into serious designing and I am yet to figure out my target crowd. I have been seeing college girls picking up their first sarees from my collection to 65-year-olds going for the MB saree. I feel my target woman is someone who just enjoys her saree and can carry it off with grace and elegance. I have kept the prices mostly between Rs14,000 to Rs22,000. Kajol has worn my sarees but I would love to see Vidya Balan in an MB saree.
Q.Coming back to acting, we saw you as ATU agent Nikita Rai in 24. How was it working with Anil Kapoor?
A. It was a great experience. I had taken a break and was on TV doing fiction after nine years. I wanted to act in shows where it was all about me, but when I was offered 24 and I saw my role, I was like, damn it, I don’t mind doing this supportive role at all! Anil is an absolute inspiration to work with. He has the energy and enthusiasm of a new comer. I feel he took a very bold step by trying his hand at this fiction for television, while most of the film actors usually play it safe by limiting themselves to hosting shows when it comes to TV.
Q.How did you prepare for the role?
A. I didn’t really have to. I feel the role was tailor made for me. I am this short haired denim and shirts kind of a person in real life too. In fact when I went for the meeting to finalize the role, I was in a pair of denims and a shirt with rolled up sleeves. I don’t know yet what plans they have for Season 2, but Its fun playing Nikkita.
Q. What else is happening?
A.I have just wrapped up hosting Celebrity Cricket League along with Kapil Sharma for Colours. I was offered to host this adventure based reality show but I had to call it off. I have acted in Atul Agnihotri’s film O Teri and it is up for release by the end of March. I am taking things one at a time since my son Vir is too young and needs my attention. I also wish to give more time to my label MB and design more sarees.
Q. Well, talking of time, how do you manage to remain so fit despite having such hectic schedule?
A. Fitness is something that is very close to me and I am very committed to it. I had put on 22 kilos during my pregnancy. I wake up early and dedicate my mornings to working out, at least 5 times a week. I am more into circuit training and I run a lot. I make sure not to miss my morning exercises as I don’t get any time during the rest of the day.
Q. Since women’s day is around the corner, what would your message be for women?
A.I really look up to respect and salute the Indian woman cause she is as multi-faceted as she can be. The Indian working woman has more on her plate than anyone else, she is a wife, a daughter, a daughter in law, she has so much to deal with along with work, that’s absolutely admirable. I feel there shouldn’t be just one day to celebrate women. Women are far more accomplished and can multi-task so well. I realise this after becoming a mum myself.
Would you like to wear an MB saree? Let us know how you like her collection, here!