When it comes to designing new embellishments for our collections, inspiration can come to us at any time. We’re lucky to be based in a city like Mumbai, where there’s something to look at no matter where you are or what time of day it is. Whether it be a passer-by’s sari or dress, an old car or a building, a spice-market or a street bazaar, we’re always on the lookout for colors, textures, patterns and moods. Even our daily commute to work can be full of revelations- be it a rickshaw adorned with trinkets and frills or a colorful character knocking on the car window to sell us some street knick-knacks, no day is ever the same! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of traveling to a completely new place though. Absorbing the new surroundings, the smells, the sights and the air. The feeling of “new” opens your mind, and you automatically develop a new and refreshed perspective. It’s during our travels that we find it easy to strike upon new ideas for color palettes and patterns. One of our favorite cities in the world is Paris, and some of our most cherished embroideries have been derived from Paris’ rich history of art and culture.
One of our most memorable days in Paris was undoubtedly our visit to the Chateau de Versailles, the historic monument that used to be home to the French Monarchy before the Revolution. We were simply mesmerized by the architecture and sheer beauty of the palace. Nothing can quite prepare for you for the decadent interiors, with exquisite artworks in every corner and gold overflowing from every wall and ceiling. Each and every room is the epitome of French aristocracy, adorned with silver and gold furniture, marble flooring, regal statues, rich velvet fabrics, crystal chandeliers and majestic paintings. The scale of opulence and grandeur of Versailles is almost too much to take in, and certainly no camera can do justice to what we saw and felt on that day.
It felt almost a relief to visit Marie Antoinette’s private chambers. This is by no means modest or humble, yet a calmer and more understated and soothing level of grandeur that we absolutely fell in love with. It came as no surprise that Marie Antoinette had this hamlet built so that she could escape the palace whenever she wanted. The hamlet has prettiness oozing out of every corner, and a gentle, peaceful and feminine atmosphere. It was this feeling that we wanted to capture and express through our embroidery; through the colors, technique, textures and composition.
Throughout Marie Antoinette’s chambers we came across bronze carved paneling on the doors and walls, which were carved especially for the Queen and supposedly depicted the love of her, King Louis XVI and their young Prince Louis XVII. We could instantly imagine how beautiful these patterns would look in thread embroidery and knew it would depict the royal quality of the artwork perfectly. Inspired, we wanted to research further into regal decorative patterns, and came across an endless archive of royal and military costumes with rich floral ornamentation. We drew inspiration from these pieces and created our own floral design with a similar feeling of aristocracy.
We were sure we wanted to incorporate some metallic bullion embroidery into our piece, as the finish is grand and strong, and truly pays homage to the royal era of the Kings and Queens. The soft pastel thread work in pinks and blues depicts a feeling of calm, and together with the opulent gold work creates an embroidery that is understated yet regal, and absolutely fit for a Queen.