Royal houses across India are slowly but surely getting into the world of curated and bespoke fashion — what prompted your house to also join this bandwagon?
For all of us who share the same background, it’s a natural progression. Everything created in the earlier days was bespoke, perhaps by default since availability and access were scarce. Also the tradition of nurturing handicraft and skills in order to keep them alive for years to come and provide adequate employment too was the reason the first families of the region were very invested in creating and curating. Much of the same was imbibed by our generation too. I, of course, opted for a full-blown corporate career where I learnt much about luxury and retail before establishing House of Badnore. Having understood the nuances of production, marketing and client preferences while also identifying the missing links in the availability of accessories and products, I have been able to create and curate the product line that defines the brand.
What aesthetic separates The House of Badnore from other Rajput royalty?
HOB (House of Badnore) is all about creating for a modern generation and their homes. While most Rajput Royals are reviving age-old techniques and keeping to the vintage styles, we are taking a cue from memory and creating around it with chic, modern metaphors of design. The endeavour is to keep everything relevant in a global context.
Tell us a little more about the evolution of the style that could be called quintessentially HOUSE OF Badnore?
As mentioned, HOB is all about re-creating elegance with contemporary stylization. At the very start, I was aware that the ‘vintage space’ was crowded with so many people creating gorgeous works of art and craft. Hence it was a conscious decision to bring back the elegance of yester years but keep the treatment of designs and motifs, new age — more like a Princess-wears-Prada look! Past Forward is what we call our collections where the inspiration is always around the whim of a memory and then it is pushed into time travel into modern times. However, the defining adjective for HOB would remain ‘elegant.’
Your legacy defines you — has there always been a sartorial interest within the family?
We are all a product of our past. We move forward with what we saw, learnt, imbibed and perhaps also carry in our genes, which I am grateful for. My mother and grandmother (maternal) were by far most stylish and elegant. We watched in awe at how they combined and carried what they chose and wore. They were impeccable each day and not just on occasions. I do believe style is inherent, you either have it or you don’t. It cannot be inculcated. And if I have inherited even an iota of theirs, I’m fortunate!
The collection is limited; do you plan to expand into all kinds of clothing in the future and how?
Yes, the plan is to expand the apparel line gradually. We recently launched our sarees — the Rose Rhapsody and the Vintage Vignette, both very different in look and styling. Going forward, we would be adding some more styles. I am very keen to develop a Ganga-Jamuni line (it was the much touted tehzeeb of Avadh where I grew up) in the near future. Currently HOB is more into accessories, as I do believe it is always the add-ons that complete any ensemble. There is a great lacuna in the market for men’s accessories and we have added several motifs, some of which are hand drawn first and then digitized. We have the quirky rooster, dachshund, and terriers as fun motifs alongside the more serious stallions, pheasants and safari prints. All of these are much appreciated as they tone down the seriousness of ‘dressing up’ without really dressing it down!