A very happy and prosperous Diwali everybody !!!!!
This feature celebrates old regal art of real silver and gold embroidery on brocades, silks, chiffons and cottons with Rajkunwar Mayankraj Singh of Kayasthpada, who revives it with Shikaarbagh. He tastefully recreates the preciousness of “Succha Kaam” providing a nostalgic feel of the bygone era with custom made must-haves for drawing rooms, boudoirs and wardrobes. Their classic attire is an heirloom piece which will surely be passed down generations maintaining it’s exquisiteness through time.
Mayank is mastering this art with a PHD in “The evolution of Rajput Costumes” and has assisted Princess Rajyashree Kumari of Bikaner with a coffee-table book regarding the costumes of Bikaner.
Living in Kota, Rajasthan, he is also actively involved with the “Kota Doria Weavers Foundation” which was created to preserve their work and provide a better life for the doria weavers.
What would you call yourself-revivalist or designer?
Revivalism has been Shikaarbagh’s forte since we started the atelier in 2011, as the old poshak-khana kaarigars were moving to other professions. These kaarigars were offered a steady income to preserve the Shikaarbagh style in costumes, which at one time was only reserved for the royal brides. Embroidery and dying have been our areas of interest as we have very recently revived the traditional Bhopalshahi tie-dye; transforming traditional arts and designs for contemporary garments.
What have been your design influences?
My design influences have been our family heirlooms and the Bikaner collection of Princess Rajyashree Kumari Sahib.
Our clothes collection includes around 150 pieces; the oldest garment being 150 years old and the newest only 35. Being born in the noble family of Kayasthpada, I have always been exposed to different cultures with daughters-in-law from 5 different Indian states and grandmother’s western influences, as she went to Switzerland for further studies. We’ve very naturally preserved our heritage and added beautifully crafted garments from Russia in 1910’s and certain saris and capes designed by Mainbocher, Piet and Molyneux for the ladies. These have been my inspiration always, just as much as our Indian master craftsmen.
Your childhood memories and people who have influenced your designs?
I have vivid memories of the women of our family and guests dressed up to the nines in elegant chiffons, beautiful poshkas and luxurious capes and shawls. The men looked resplendent in elegant achkans, kurtas, angrakhas and well tailored casuals which is still deeply etched in my thoughts; making style statements with a combination of both western and eastern fashions.
It’s mainly been my close family and friends who have influenced my style. My grandmother Late Urmila Raje and mother Maya Devi exposed me to a world of varied rich cultures and their textiles, embroideries and costumes. Princess Rajyashree Kumari of Bikaner very kindly gave me access to her collection of garments. Shri Umang Hutheesing mentored me patiently with the language of design, and my father Shri Ravindra Singh’s love for wildlife inspired me to revive the art of Shikaarbagh.
How do you foresee Shikaarbagh’s future?
I see atelier Shikaarbagh bringing out the best of the old kaarigars of Dholpur and Kota not only in clothing but also personalized accessories like cushions, clutches, footwear etc. We would like to attain excellence in preserving and presenting antique garments in the best possible ways. It’s not just dressing but also the understanding or education of our patrons regarding the garments which appeal’s to a niche segment of buyers, and that’s how I would like to maintain it’s exclusivity.
How does one approach you to get anything tailored?
Based in Kota, Rajasthan you can contact us on +91 9784565504 or message through https://www.facebook.com/AtelierShikaarbagh. Also emailing on AtelierShikaarbagh@gmail.com to fix an appointment in Delhi is another option. Every patron is given individual attention by us, to successfully offer bespoke masterpieces.
The USP of your label?
The USP of our label is luxurious shawls and jackets in wool and velvet for the winters and gossamer thin chiffon embellished with exquisite French laces and delicate silk work not just for adults but for children, also.