Explosivefashion Logo
 

IN CONVERSATION WITH AKSHAT KAPOOR

— JASMEEN DUGAL

Home Soirees — an intimate, curated platform — brings values, knowledge and traditions at the heart of our culture, into the forefront. 'Living Culture' is characterised by the concept of 'continuity'. It anchors our sense of identity, is integral to the life of all societies, and is the mainspring of the world's cultural diversity. Yet, our age-old traditions are in danger of disappearing irretrievably. Here lies the importance of this platform, curated by Akshat Kapoor and Princess Nandini Singh Jabua, which ensures that artistic expressions, values, traditions, textile craft and regional cuisine, which shaped our childhood and youth— and which we somehow let slip in our fast-paced lifestyle— returns to prominence. In conversation with co- founder Akshat Kapoor.

 

Your strength lies in extensive knowledge on the importance of culture and craft, and its relevance today. Do tell us what inspired you to co- host this pop-up with Princess Nandini Singh Jhabua. How did you identify the need gap and came up with this concept?

 

Ours is an ancient country with a diverse and rich heritage. In both my personal and professional life, I have always been exposed to heritage. My sojourn with craft began at a tender age when I was exposed to heritage craft, cuisine and culture, thanks to my culturally evolved family in Lucknow and Benaras. I owe this exposure to craft to the ladies of my house who worked with the most exquisite chikankari, rose stitch, button-hole, kantha and parsi embroideries on saris, napkins, table runners etc in their leisure time. My maternal family ran, and still continues to run, one of the oldest sari stores in Benaras. Every time I visit Benaras, those small lanes where I saw saris being made or finished, left me intrigued to learn more and do something to promote this legacy. Secondly, the occasion songs which were sung in my house exposed me to our rich folk heritage and I organically learnt about folk songs of not only my region, but also of others. And soon I found myself taking an initiative to preserve and promote cultural heritage. It is this heritage, which I got exposed to at home, that I wanted to showcase at Home Soirées.

 

Being born in the royal family of Jhabua, Princess Nandini Singh was not only exposed to the rich heritage of her region but also had the responsibility of preserving and promoting it. As a scion of the royal family of Jhabua, she has been actively involved in patronising the art and craft of her region. Her diligent, continuous efforts in promoting what is hers by birth and what was a part of her childhood and youth, and her ability to evolve and re-craft heritage to fit the modern bill, makes her the perfect partner for this project. While conceptualising Home Soirées we didn't want to come up with yet another exhibition that showcased Indian design in a commercial setup; we aspired to bring the rich cultural heritage of our country to prominence in an intimate, curated setting.

 

Do tell us a bit about how you curated this edition of the pop-up.

 

This edition of Home Soirées got planned over a meal, and within a week of our fun luncheon, we found ourselves partners to showcase the craft and culture of our regions and doing our bit in preserving and promoting it. Home Soirées emerged as a well orchestrated two- day pop-up, giving our guests an insight into the rich craft that we had been exposed to within the four walls of our house. Both Nandini and I aspire to curate a platform that brings forward lost cultural heritage of homes and regions to discerning audiences, in turn empowering those who are involved in the process of sustaining it. During this edition, we showcased craft at brilliant prices, presented in an intimate setting. There were saris, dress materials embellished with chikankari, badla and mookesh astride a curated mix of Gond, Islamic and wildlife art from Madhya Pradesh and pichwais from Rajasthan. A fun mouthwatering menu was curated to add a homely touch with the help of Bawarchi Cucina — a mix of home recipes from Princess Nandini and my house. From 'Chatpati Chachi Ki Suhali' to 'Batoli Bua Ke Paani Ke Baatashe', from 'Nepali Mausa Ke Aloo' to 'Dadi Maa Ki Aam Ki Kheer', one could savour all of it and reminisce back to his or her childhood when we relished this kind of food for the first time!

 

From a retail perspective who are the niche patrons or shoppers?

 

Well, lovers of heritage, craft enthusiasts, and people with great taste… anyone who takes pride in the rich legacy of this country is our patron.

 

Can we expect this pop-up across cities? What are your plans to take it forward?

 

While we will soon have a festive edit in the Capital, cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Benaras, Indore, Hyderabad are on the cards.
 

HOME SOIREES
Akshat Kapoor and Princess Nandini Singh Jabua
 
14-MAY-2019
 
Share us on :
Join us on:  
 
0 Comments
 
Post a Comment
 

MORE BLOGS BY JASMEEN DUGAL

 
2019-05-18 22:37:01 PETIT ROYAL
 
2019-04-23 20:05:36 IN CONVERSATION WITH DEVANGI NISHAR PAREKH
 
2019-04-23 20:01:55 IN CONVERSATION WITH RADHAKRISHNAN NAIR
 
2019-04-23 19:50:00 IN CONVERSATION WITH FEROZA DALAL
 
2019-04-23 15:33:50 IN CONVERSATION WITH PIYALI GANGULY