A brush with royalty

As models sashayed down the ramp at Hyatt Regency, the audience sitting in the aisles below admired the rich garments that they were dressed up in.

In deep colours and delicate embroidery, the garments by Umang Hutheesing presented a slice of royalty that will be witnessed over two days at ‘Royal Fables Season Six’.

Unlike many other lifestyle exhibitions in the city, this one brings to the common man not just products crafted by designers and artists of regal descent but also engages the buyers to indulge in the rich heritage our country which would have otherwise phased out.

“I still remember how the elegant bichonas were drawn out of the cupboards for ceremonies to cover the thrones where rulers used to sit,” says Rani Sandhya Kumari of Khajurgaon, remembering Dussehra. “The festival is big for Rajputs and so it was at our place. Also, the designs were decided according to seniority.

 While the embroidery on one designed for my grandmother was elaborate, the work on the other created for my mother was a little light.” She will be showcasing a vintage regalia of a royal wedding along with chawans (used to ward off evil spirit) and pankhis in gold and silver.

All the royals emphasise on the need to showcase the rich heritage which also compelled them to be part of this exposition. But few even admit that they have brought in a touch of the contemporary in order to make the old motifs look better in present time. The finery, delicate stitches and other detailing is however untouched as the royals still struggle to motivate the old karigars and encourage their younger generations to join the league by promising financial security.

“We try to keep up with the old method as much as possible,” says Gitanjali Shah, daughter of Thakurani Darshana Kumari of Mandawa. Her mother’s pure gold-woven sarees along with the hand-painted ones by Rajkumari Alkarani Singh of Pratapgarh are sure to lure any woman in the radar!

For the male counterparts, however, there is an art to invest and revel in. Take for instance, the wildlife paintings by Aapji Vikramaditya Singh of Palaitha. “I grew up in England and am very close to wildlife and nature. My father was quite artistic and so was my mother. So creativity came naturally to me,” says the artist whose painting of a leopard on a tree branch is ecstatic!

Using charcoal as his main ingredient to prepare the recipe of breathtaking wildlife pictures, Singh depicts his love for nature on the paper.

In the same genre, the paintings by Tikarani Shailaja Katoch of Kangra and miniature art by Princess Vaishnavi Kumari of Kishangarh are true examples of their heritage. But the ultimate is landscape photography by Yuvraaj Vikramaditya Singh of Jammu and Kashmir where he portrays his Himalayan state in its inherent splendour!

The exhibition starts today at The Imperial.

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