Missing the royal presence

Missing the royal presence

Missing the royal presence

Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, scion of the Mysore royal family, was highly respected in the fashion circuit and his demise has clearly left a void in the industry.

People from the Indian fashion and film industry, say that they will miss somebody who immensely and rather, thoughtfully, contributed to the world of fashion and films. They prefer to call him a ‘revivalist of sorts’.

Many from the fashion and film fraternity recall Srikantadatta Wadiyar as a quiet but jovial man. His fashion brand — Mysore Royal Silks — is a reflection of his deep-rootedness to tradition and culture. While actors appreciate and admire his contribution to the world of fashion, they say they will miss his company as a ‘friend’.

Fashion designer Manoviraj Khosla recalls that Srikantadatta Wadiyar did well to create an awareness among those in the fashion industry about the Mysore silks. Manoviraj says that Srikantadatta, in his own style ‘glamourised’ Mysore silks and gave the garment a royal touch, “He was a great revivalist and I have been to most of his shows. What is evident are his efforts to bring tradition back in modern times. That was his culture and he had no qualms flaunting it,” says Manoviraj.

Although, designer Ritu Kumar hasn’t met Srikantadatta Wadiyar in person, she vividly recollects having read about him and his work when researching for her book titled, ‘Costumes and Textiles of Royal India’, a definitive chronicle of the history of India’s royal patronage to textile arts.

“I have read a lot about him and I understand that he was  instrumental in extending the regional textile market to the weavers. His active interest in popularising the glory of Mysore silks, is much appreciated. This is proof that he was a rooted person,” says Ritu.

Deepika Govind prefers to call him a friend. “I felt very sad when I read about his demise. He was very pleasant, amicable and an extremely approachable person,” says Deepika, who also thinks his efforts to popularise Mysore Royal Silks remain unmatched.

Srikantadatta Wadiyar was popular among those in the film industry too. His dear friend, actor and minister for housing Ambarish wasted no time in paying his last respects.

Ambarish’s wife and actress Sumalatha remembers Srikantadatta Wadiyar visiting their house a couple of times, “He has come home but would not speak a lot. He would sit by himself. But when he would start talking, he would joke a lot. What instantly struck you about him was his simplicity. We are always conscious of royalty but he never gave you the feeling that he is of royal blood. He was one of us,” she notes.

Actor and director Prabu Deva hails from Mysore where he spent most of his childhood. Prabhu Deva says, “We have a picture of  Srikantadatta Wadiyar’s father in our house. We don’t know the family members personally but we feel connected to the family. It’s sad that the Maharaja is no more.”

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