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Regalia are emblems and symbols of royalty, signifying the visual and experiential cues associated with nobility, opulence, and luxury.
Regalia represents spirited and indulgent opulence. Together with designers Divya Nambiar and Ayush Kasliwal, we explore its colour expressions.
Founder and Designer, Unniyarcha
Divya studied financial mathematics at Columbia University in New York City, where she was taken in, as much by the magic of numbers, as by the cutting-edge fashion and design she saw around her. Returning to India to work with the family business in specialised engineering design, where designers bent materials to the will of the mind, she was inspired to apply everything to her childhood passion of designing jewellery. Divya’s label, Unniyarcha, is named after the legendary warrior of 16th century South India famous for her beauty and her strength.
Unniyarcha’s first collection is inspired by the characteristics of the legendary warrior Unniyarcha, who was known for her boldness and grace, as well as for being a formidable and powerful fighter. The collection features a bold, fierce look, coupled with the grace, beauty, and gentleness of a princess. Regalia as a theme connotes royalty, sumptuousness, and elegance echoing the ideals of this collection. Every piece in the collection expresses itself through colour, as well as form. For this collection, blue, red, and a warm yellow are our primary colours, expressing boldness, strength, and timelessness. Each piece combines with the spirit of the wearer to create a unique expression.
Regalia spells luxury. To me, Regalia is visible throughout the rich 17th century South Indian palaces. The lush greenery surrounding the palace, and the opulence and grandeur of the architecture cannot be missed. The rays of the sun passing through the dark teak wood interiors give it a warm ambience.
I am currently on holiday in Goa, where it is the end of the monsoon season. There is lush greenery all around, with dark blue skies, and short bursts of heavy rainfall. The warm sunshine, deep blue of the ocean, and bright hues of bougainvillea flowers are my inspiration for the Regalia palette. The issue’s colour, Grape Riot–X138, is a very strong colour. Using Jade Green–2435 along with Grape Riot–X138 adds a slight contrast, while Ocean Force–X146 is a soothing colour that ties the other two shades together.
Co-founder and Designer, AKFD Design Studio & Anantaya Décor
Ayush is the founder of AKFD Design Studio, and an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where he studied furniture design. Based in Jaipur, AKFD offers a fresh twist to traditional crafts, producing cutting-edge artefacts, accessories, textiles, and furniture. Strategically located in Jaipur, with access to centuries of rich craft tradition in Rajasthan, AKFD combines these local crafts with a modern perspective on products and materials, creating a unique range of products. Ayush is also co-founder of Anantaya Decor, an inter-disciplinary lifestyle design studio, that serves as the retail arm of AKFD, while also working to develop innovative new ideas through an understanding of the importance of preservation of traditional crafts.
Regalia is a play of intensities, without being loud. This approach is visible in the Oas Marble Ball candle stand and bell lamps.
The body of the Oas candle stand is made from brass, with the outside finished in a dark patina, while the inner surfaces have been polished to a brilliant shine. The candle-holder itself is made of white marble. The Fat and Long bell lamps are adjustable pendant lights, inspired by temple bells. In this case, the contrast between the inside and the outside is more pronounced, with the spun-brass interiors reflecting a glow of warm light.
The culmination of this approach is clearly visible in our choice of colours for the Mars Attacks table, chosen to be as striking as possible. Each table features a play of saturated, yet pastel shades. This vision extends to the Kalam table, illustrated by skilled miniature-painting artists, who have decorated the tables with images selected from and inspired by traditional Rajput and Mughal miniature paintings.
To me, Regalia, particularly in the Indian context, is about materials which are simple and pure, manipulated in a rich and sensuous manner. A quiet confidence, and comfort in being that way. Metallic gold or burnished brass, jewel tones, tempered with rich colours in satin. Refined and sensuous shapes, in a sparse but rich environment. Refined lines and forms, which stand by universal values of beauty, while being identifiably Indian. Inspired by nature, but not imitating it, the spirit of Regalia infuses everything we do.
The inspiration for my Regalia palette originates in the blend of rich, intense shades paired with muted, but full-bodied colours one finds in the palaces of Rajasthan. The tones of terre-verte, which is used in Aariash work, the rich red of kumkum, and the purple of exotic sarees and patkas worn by royalty.
AYUSH KASLIWALAll images courtesy Ayush Kasliwal, except: • snikrap » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jairpur_city_ palace_interior2.jpg • Jeff Hart » flickr.com/photos/ipeguy/5350777245/ • Vladimer Shioshvili » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_ powder_in_Jerash,_Jordan.jpg • Anilbhardwajnoida » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benaras_brocade_sari.jpg
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