“Life comes out of chaos” a statement made by Axelle reminded me of my exciting journey of finding niche labels….. generally of one leading to the other…. feels like a never-ending treasure hunt. Last year I arrived at a private sale, in which a fabulous children’s label Loulou des Indes was exhibiting (had featured them earlier) and thought it best to follow their trail for similar indie chic brands. That’s where I discovered this primarily leather crafted label Chandernagor– a name inspired by the French colony, now a quiet suburb of Kolkata, West Bengal, which was earlier known for its clean wide roads and elegant houses along the Hoogly river. Being French, Axelle Decamps and Noelline Besson(Indian origin) zeroed in on this very poetic name as it suited the sensibilities of the Europeans who fancy the exotic treasures coming from India.
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.
Happy Lohri and Makar Sankranti everybody…… celebrations of these winter festivals gave me a reason to write about a niche brand in wraps and shawls Kashmir Loom; a creation of Jenny Housego and her Kashmiri partner Asaf Ali together with his brothers in Srinagar. Their “Lena cashmere” (commercially known as Pashmina) from the changra goats found only in the high altitudes of Tibet and Ladhak,as soft as a baby’s skin, is wooing the hearts of plenty world over. Their luxurious wraps, shawls, stoles, scarves and capes are handcombed, handspun, handwoven and hand embroidered in Kashmir by local women on the traditional “charkha”– hand wheel spin; finally endorsed with their Farsi logo.