Doggie dressmaker: sherwanis and anarkalis for pets

How a lockdown wedding inspired a range of South Asian apparel for our four-legged friends.

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Through the chaos of planning her wedding during lockdown, Sydney’s Meygha Shankar came across a number of hurdles while arranging caterers, make-up, venues and more. But perhaps the biggest of all was – what would their darling dog, Sona, wear?

“My King Charles Cavalier-Jack Russell cross, Sona, is the youngest member of our family and the most pampered. Honestly, everything revolves around her,” Meygha laughed.

meygha shankar

When it came to dressing up her fur baby for her special day, Meygha only found bow-ties, bandanas, sweaters, and western wear for dogs, none of which would work for her big fat Indian wedding.

“I realised there was nothing out there to represent my heritage,” she told Indian Link. “Sona is not just an accessory, she’s an important member of the family, and I wanted her to be involved. So, I decided to take matters (and scissors!) into my own hands.”

Having bought a sewing machine during lockdown, Meygha decided to utilise her new skills towards pet apparel. In fact, she admits, she even chopped up her own wedding lehenga for material.

“I ended up making Sona three outfits for the wedding. She was by my side, matching with my banarasi silks, velvets and kanjivarams, for each and every event.”

dog apparel
Seven year old Sona

Not only was Sona the centre of attention at the wedding, but her stunning outfits got a fantastic response on social media. Inquiries began pouring in for dog, cat, and even rabbit apparel.

And that’s how Meygha’s passion project, Puprika Boutique, began. She now designs and stitches a range of lux South Asian apparel for pets like anarkalis, sherwanis, and pattu pavadais, all made-to-order.

She explained, “The feedback has been phenomenal. Our customers have been really happy to involve their pets in special occasions. We launched in late November so I missed this Diwali for orders, but I’m sure next year’s Diwali is going to be huge. I’m already planning designs for Onam, Pongal, Navratri, and other festivals too.”

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And how do the dogs seem in their brand-new outfits?

“Sona was my model during lockdown. I tried all my styles on her to make sure they were breathable and didn’t hamper movements, and she went about her business as usual. She couldn’t seem to tell something was on her,” Meygha elaborated.

Keeping them cute, comfortable, and most importantly, functional seems to be her philosophy towards all the designs. Puprika Boutique’s clothes are offered in a range of standard sizes along with the option of custom sizing for dogs with unique builds like Corgis, Dachshunds, and Greyhounds.

dog apparel

The next step, Meygha says, is to find a tailor (as she currently stitches everything herself) and expand the range of products. She’s already received requests for custom orders like dog turbans, and in a nod to her Tamil heritage, she’s hoping to make dog lungis as well.

“Growing up in Sydney, I feel like I’ve really had the best of both worlds, embracing my Indian heritage and my Australian upbringing,” she shared.

“I am so excited to embark on this journey, and the best part about it is all the dogs I get to see dressed up in cute ethnicwear!”

To place an order or make an inquiry, you can contact Puprika Boutique on their website, social media, or via email on info@puprikaboutique.com.

READ ALSO: Raising guide dogs – at home

Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath is a writer and editor based in Sydney. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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