Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Royal lineage and legacies have a certain mystique and splendour, leaving one to imagine more than what meets the eye. The element of inaccessibility. Don't you think?
When I think about the vivacious culture of India and its historic royalty, more often than not Rajasthan is the first place that comes to mind. Famed for its vibrant heritage, age old traditions, crafts, magnificent jewellery and culinary feat preserved till date, it beckons to culture starved tourists and travellers from all over the world. Not to mention, it is also a sought after wedding destination.
On a trip to Rajasthan, I was breath-taken as I walked into my hotel, through the lobby and spaces which must have been glorious chambers of a royal family.
Enchanted by the portraits, elaborate paintings, architecture and bric-a-bracs from that time, I felt strange and very much in awe of the era gone by, of the people that once called it home.
The land of Badnore, in Rajasthan was famed for Rajputana (translates to 'son of king') valour.
A premier principality, it marked its spot in history when the sons of the soil scripted a tale of unmatched heroism.
When I first discovered House of Badnore, from the erstwhile reign, I expected royal opulence that I wasn't sure I would be able to decipher.
What followed was a foray into simple, down-to-earth and sophisticated, handcrafted elegance.
It was a bit unexpected for me, considering the perception I had of elaborate grandeur.
House of Badnore, in its colour codes of a gorgeous forest green and gold, jewel tones that have long symbolised revitalisation, rebirth and eternal life, brings back the understated flamboyance of yesteryears.
The insignia, the eagle is a symbol of the Rathore clan, who were considered the best warriors back in the day, and is now a bequeathed family identity, not to be taken lightly!
Every collection of House of Badnore has a hint of nostalgia.
A detail, an element, a motif, from a memory of the rich, ubiquitous past, of the many evenings of poetry and music,of the mystic demeanour of the ladies in the fort, of the wildlife encounters on midnight drives, of the anticipated peeks into the chamber which had trunks of jewellery and garments.
House of Badnore attempts to redefine luxury with `maximalism’ to bring back and celebrate the era where more was neither more nor ever less, an era where there was time taken to do and appreciate what serenades the senses.
It attempts to make elegance accessible; a simple brand ethos.
The founder, Archana Kumari Badnore, from the royal family of Badnore, had a vision to bring elegance back, the way she saw it, in a simple way with an old world charm of style and finesse.
Re-interpreting and re-imagining it, to make it relevant today, for modern homes and lifestyles.
Archana believes in educating people on elegance, making it accessible, not just aspirational. She believes that having wealth is not equivalent to having elegance.
The beauty is in how she takes one elaborate component from the many splendid details, envisions the end product around it which is then created by skilled craftsmen. She brings back near extinct crafts like the Thewa from Rajasthan, in a more contemporary way to make an interesting statement! New, eco-friendly techniques are also underway.
Adaptation of the old world charm and its integrity is evident not only in the creative aspects of each collection but in the versatility of it.
Hand-embroidered cashmere shawls and scarves reminiscent of winter nights, eclectic pocket squares and silver accessories for men that speak volumes of the little details of a lifestyle gone by, homeware in decadent silver, and travel friendly versions of extraordinary jewellery for women are some of the inspired collections.
The numerous options for men, women, home and gifting, with the option of personalisation makes it all the more interesting. Personalisation and versatility are core to lifestyles of the royal families as everything from jewelry, homeware, clothing is made-to-order, more often than not.
House of Badnore is a window to the charmed life of a regal persona, a reflection of herself. As someone who was not comfortable using the family name till she had carved her own path, Archana embodies the refinement that has filtered down generations.
Every piece at House of Badnore, resembles a magnificent kaleidoscope of timeless style, a piece of history, pride and a simple ethos.
Stay tuned for my conversation with Archana as she reminisces on her life, journey and adaption from the magnificent forts of Pratapgarh and Badnore to a simpler life in Delhi.
Till then check out the collection @houseofbadnore