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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Revisiting the Royal

By Ishita Shah
Photography: Courtesy Hutheesing Design Company


The Durbar Collection of garments by fashion aficionado and royal cultural attaché Umang Hutheesing holds universal appeal in formal and semi-formal evening wear...

In a land enriched by its heritage and inherited knowledge, both royal families and rural communities are two segments of Indian society that till date patronize some exclusive practices. With 1200 years of engaging history, the Hutheesing family is known for its philanthropy in various sectors; touching Indian lifestyle directly or indirectly. From various community projects to taking the Indian fashion industry onto a global platform, the Hutheesing Design Company has been versatile, to say the least.

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“One does it for the joy of doing it; for the larger vision behind it...” explains Umang Hutheesing, as he revisits the small steps and the big that have culminated into his current   Durbar Collection.  

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Having started off as a hi-profile socialite adorning himself in the most authentic royal outfit for one of New York’s most elite social events, and as a remarkable textile collector, Hutheesing’s new collection is a fashion statement that amalgamates Indian royal aesthetics into a contemporary lifestyle. Exclusively crafted for the elite class, every outfit is a unique design of royal textures, colours, techniques, materials, comfort and elegance woven into flowing regal silhouettes; simultaneously highlighting well defined bodylines.

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Durbar Collection is a more of a philosophy and an ode to royalty; crafted for the modern Indian, who is a symbol of emancipation, empowerment and accomplishment. The explicit skill set of artisans from the poshak khanas of the old royal families is explored to create men and women designer wear that includes kurtas, achkans, sherwanis, chogas, lehngas, sarees and anarkalis festooned with layers of exquisite gheras, bandis, blouses, odhanas and dupattas, all richly embellished with traditional motifs.

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Inspired by the ceremonial dresses of 1911 Delhi Durbar, the costumes are designed using rich brocades, silks and velvets teamed with delicate chiffons and shimmers; bringing to life the splendour and sanctity of the bygone era. Intricate embroidery, karcho work, velvet cutting, heavy zardosi work, studded precious stones combine with tonalities of solid hues to appreciatively fuse the historic with the contemporary.

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Unlike other design projects, the process behind this extravagant accomplishment lies in three generations of belief in design and Indian-ness. “I am not fashioned. I am old-fashioned. I don’t want to create clothes, which are not anchored in our culture... clothes that come with an expiry date,” concludes Hutheesing.


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1 comment:

  1. when you are involved in making, be it pottery or textiles or any other craft that has a considerable amount of history behind it, then design sometimes plays a subsidiary role to tradition, technique, materials and markets. Thus when you throw pottery as I do, the laws of physics do dictate the forms to a large degree and the way you embellish a piece and fire it are equally subjected to science and tradition, the latter usually having a basis in the former.

    So I'd say that revivalist design is present in my work in the form of reviving forms, techniques and processes that have fallen out of favour when industrialisation took over and profits, speed of production and time to market took centre stage. However, handmade products retain their identity and value and so whatever your design, make sure the quality is as high as you can make it, that is the real secret I think.
    Posted by Norman Yap, MSDC on Linkedin Group: Design Council in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Is ‘revivalist design’ a revered favourite or a catchy trend?

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