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— Jasmeen Dugal

Preserving fine art, textile craft and ancient royal recipes is relatively easy. Safeguarding 'intangible' heritage like values, knowledge and way of life, anchors a sense of identity and continuity, integral to understanding Indian royalty. Royal Fables aspires to showcase and preserve each aspect of royal heritage and culture. In its milestone edition, the two-day exposition continues to transform languishing royal art, craft and textiles to living heritage, subsequently preserving it for future generations. In conversation with founder Anshu Khanna.


Royal Fables is a bespoke luxury exhibit where royal families showcase and retail their heritage art and crafts. But- let's go back in time- how did you identify the need gap and come up with this concept?

As a writer and a publicist, I was aware of the enormity of the quiet work being done by young scions to conserve their inherited legacy. When DLF Emporio, a client of my public relations agency Goodword Media, suggested that we come up with an interesting concept for a pop-up, I proposed a fable brewing inside me — to create a marketplace for young royals that was elegant, understated and upper crust so that they come forward and share their legacy.They loved the idea and Dinaz put her might behind it. I had already trademarked the concept… and lo and behold… Royal Fables was born. Following that, it's been a singular effort by my family and Team Royal Fables to cherish, nourish and grow it.


Your strength lies in personal relationship and extensive research and knowledge on the subject. Please share the extent of your involvement, your story.

Heritage, to me, is the answer to everything. Nothing can emerge sans history and it's my firm belief that the golden peacock, the glorious treasure trove tag that India flaunts, is possible because our erstwhile rulers nurtured the art, the craft and the lifestyle of their region. Yet, all that you see in media links India to khadi!! Or it links royals to European ateliers! The west is so proud of their royal fable then why are we pushing it under the carpet?! I feel so blessed that I have this platform to showcase their grandeur, their heritage.


How did you execute the plan into a full-fledged exposition with blue-blooded participants?

Royal families and their scions are the most elegant and affable people to deal with. The plan executed itself. Some royals I sought out, some emerged from the comfort of their palace, ready to showcase their art, craft and textiles.


What purpose does this royal festival serve from a participant's point of view?

It showcases their region's living heritage and crafts through a display of garments and jewellery, paintings and crafts. Their cuisine. Their history. Them as caring citizens of democratic India. But, most importantly, in many ways, it has assisted in reviving the Palace karkhana culture of Princely India. In the past, all the royals allocated a space within their fort or palace to local master-craftsmen to come in and work on creating heirlooms. This practice has been revived in many Princely states, all thanks to Royal Fables.


How did yuvranis begin designing heirloom jewellery or reviving textile art that are the envy of any bride?

Every one of them did!! Starting with Maharani of Baroda Radhika Raje Gaekwad whose museum shop has innovative memorabilia from the legacy of Raja Ravi Varma residency. Princess Diya Kumari revived twenty-two karkhanas within City Palace that cater to the museum shop. Princess Vaishnavi Kumari of Kishangarh pushes the bastion of pichwais with her innate knowledge. The Kangra- Lambragaon family revived pahari paintings. Princess Nandini Singh of Jhabua's quest is to keep Gond art alive and the Mandawa families fight to keep the pure gold loom going! Nirmal Salvi, the only man capable of weaving a real patan patola!! Be ready for a treat… the fable is endless.


From a retail perspective who are the buyers or collectors at Royal Fables?

Anyone who respects handcraft and looks to dress elegantly and yet make a statement. We cannot cater to those who are looking for lehengas with three-dimensional embroidery and layers of cancans. We will be appreciated by those who understand the world of artisanal luxe. In short, an evolved, heritage-seeking buyer.


What are the three reasons to visit Royal Fables Season 10?

To shop, attend a master class on royal cooking or on Pichwai art and to revel in the royal art!

Royal Fables Founder Anshu Khanna
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2018-09-09 09:32:16 ROYAL FABLES SEASON 10