Divide Dosas and try Lehengas with Amrit and Anaa Saber for Diwali
welcome to Shopping with Vogue, a series in which we sift through the favorite store of a fashion lover. For this edition, we eat with Amrit and Anaa’s Saber at Saravanaa Bhavan and try on clothes at Anita Dongre to celebrate Diwali.
DJ and host Amrit and writer and model Anaa Saber gave me an address to meet them in Murray Hill – which they call “Curry Hill” due to the sheer amount of South Asian shopping and food. – as well as strict instructions not to look and see which restaurant we go to. They want me to be surprised through our breakfast. We meet there before buying their outfits for Diwali, a five-day holiday celebrated in South Asian culture by a multitude of religions including Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. It is often called the Festival of Lights; the ladies call it New Years. There are parties, hanging lights and gifts. âFor Sikhs, it’s also about celebrating justice and freedom because our guru refused to leave prison without his other political prisoners,â Amrit says.
When I’m on the road, Saber texts me “see you soon” punctuated by a kissed face and a meme of Sandra Bullock paddling blindfolded on a river in the movie. Birdhouse. Even though I only know Amrit and Saber through social media, I already love them. Amrit, who publicly bears her first name, heads the IG Live show Ask Amrit, which focuses on conversations about sex, love, and dating. Saber is a writer which focuses on South Asian designers, and you might have seen it on the catwalks too. Last season, she walked Collina Strada alongside her mother. Both women are South Asian. Amrit was born in Singapore and raised outside of Perth, Australia. She is Sikh and has a Punjabi father and a Gujarati Indian mother, who is also partly Thai. Saber was born on Long Island to Pakistani parents and is a Muslim.
I find myself at the Saravanaa Bhavan restaurant at 81 Lexington Ave. The restaurant, which has a cafeteria vibe, is known for its dosas, a thick, folded pancake that’s stuffed with lentils or potatoes. Saber comes in first, wearing a Damson Madder top and Diesel jeans that I suspect are vintage. “They are new!” she tells me. âI asked my friend who works at Diesel for five different washes. While we wait for Amrit, Saber tells me about growing up in a predominantly white town on Long Island. âI always wanted something different. Obviously, I had darker hair and darker skin. There was nobody of color, which is so crazy to think, âshe says. âThe way I fit in with my peers was with fashion. I used fashion as a shield. When Saber came home from school she would watch Bollywood movies and dress in her mother’s saris. “So much drama!” she says.