NEW DELHI: One of the first Indian designers to use Brand India positioning for a fashion company, Raghavendra Rathore has joined hands with the country’s leading manufacturer of hand-knotted and hand-tufted rugs, Obeetee, to introduce a unique concept showcasing high-end boutique carpet pieces.
The ace designer has designed the third edition of the Proud To Be Indian (PTBI) series. Synergised into a holistic vision of luxury rooted in old-world regalia of Rajasthan, Rathore’s carpet designs are elegantly classic and reflective of the land’s many stories, but the calibre of values and quality these pieces embody cuts across all borders. A member of Jodhpur’s royal family, Rathore has explored motifs, colours and patterns to display ‘never-been-woven-before’ royal couture floor coverings, that characterise his aristocratic lineage. The craftsmanship is vibrant with exquisite embroidery, intricate weaves and asymmetrical designs – put in place by Mirzapur weavers.
“The collection epitomises old-world luxury and has the essence of a bygone era. The Marwar region, specifically Jodhpur, is the core inspiration for all ideas and vision behind the look and feel of these carpets,” says Rathore, talking about the collection. “We have experimented heavily with paisleys, asymmetrical designs and unusual patterns to create these unique designs. The references have been taken from the past,” he further says adding that it took nearly five years to come up with these designs.
Rathore says that even though Obeetee’s pieces have international appeal, the essence of each piece is essentially Indian. “They always put forth the Indian craft before the world and this was what motivated me to go ahead with the association. At brand RR, we too work on the same module.” Rathore’s collection comes in three series, each telling a unique story. The Durbar Gaadi Masand derives inspiration from the textured royal sette used by kings and queens in durbars of yore. It is rendered with opulent embroidery in velvet. The artwork in the second series, Rajasthan Architecture, borrows inspiration from the majestic arches and structural design elements, including mirror work and brightly painted religious figures of the Sheesh Mahal in Mehrangarh Fort.
The Coat of Arms, the third variant, is an offbeat showcase of logos, emblems, insignias and monograms of Rajput princely states and jagirs.“We always want to introduce incredible Indian craft to the world, and what’s better than joining hands with country’s leading designers? These collaborations help us explore fresh palettes and set trends grounded in contemporary design sensibilities that are true to Indian ethos,” says Obeetee Chairman Rudra Chatterjee. “It’s like holding up a canvas of historical influences and rich textile wisdom that is intrinsic to India, yet all laid out with a healthy nod to modern techniques and structures,” he adds.