The Hindustan Ambassador is a quintessentially Indian car with a strong British heritage. Fondly known as the ‘king of Indian roads’ we’ve connected this Indian classic with some of the subcontinent’s leading artists and designers to create a colourful cavalcade driving home a strong conservation message for the Asian elephant. Available at auction, this is a unique opportunity to own a wonderful car from India with love…
Artist bio: Couturier, costume stylist, entrepreneur, social media influencer and revivalist. Manish Malhotra’s prolific career spanning 27 years has seen him redefine fashion for an entire generation of Indians. From his work with Hindi cinemas influential leading-ladies to launching his label in 2005, Manish Malhotra tells design stories in a language profuse with elegance, ultra-femininity and unapologetic glamour. Besides working his magic on fabric, Manish is also avidly followed on social media, with over 1.5 million likes on Facebook, 2.7 million followers on Twitter and 4 million followers on Instagram. Manish Malhotra was also part of the 2016 Business of Fashion 500 (#BOF500) list – a professional index of personalities that have shaped the global fashion industry.
Inspiration behind design: The starting point of the inspiration was the colour green of the jade Feng Shui elephant, symbols of luck, strength and good fortune. Manish then wanted to combine that with a vibrant, joyous, floral pattern rendered in a style to mimic Meenakari craftsmanship.
FLIGHT by GAURAV GUPTA
Artist bio: Gaurav Gupta is known for infusing edgy styles into an Indian bride’s wardrobe. Famous for the sari-gown, he takes red-carpet silhouettes and adds an avant-garde spin to them. The Central Saint Martins, London graduate has created a niche for his eponymous label as a progressive couturier. His stores too, are an extension of his inspirations – furthering his ‘future primitive’ design tag in the industry. Carving sculpture-like garments, Gaurav merges indigenous Indian construction and embellishing techniques with his idea of the future, giving the world an Indo-European feel with dramatic and timeless drapes. Pinning modern couture on the world map, his collections have since been spotted at various red-carpet appearances like the Emmys and Golden Globe and in editorial content internationally. They have been worn by eminent persons in cinema, art, music and fashion across the world. Over a decade of celebrating progressive and rich couture, Gaurav has delivered and sustained a world that is Indian at its core and boundless in its form.
Inspiration behind design: This print we have done for the interiors of our Ambassador is a very iconic print from the brand Gaurav Gupta. It is from the “Flight” collection of SS10 and has become so identifiable, and almost synonymous with the brand. The hummingbird in particular, which is a fantastical bird, and all the other beautiful birds flying in the air and forming this all-over pattern – this design has become the essence of the brand in a way. It represents flight, fantasy and freedom, the endlessness of the sky – and that’s why the blue. It is the sky. I also see this Ambassador as portraying the feeling of a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, turning into a magical flying car and taking you on an other-worldly adventure. It gives you the mood of something extraordinary and fairy-tale like.
CHANDRIKA by AMRAPALI
Artist bio: Innovative, dynamic and a visionary; Akanksha Arora serves as the CEO at Tribe Amrapali. She has been instrumental in creating verticals at Amrapali Jewels and launching Tribe Amrapali͛s website and retail stores. As the CEO, Akanksha also looks into innovation and designs at Tribe Amrapali ensuring the brand retains its heritage ethos while creating contemporary designs.
Inspiration behind design: The design is inspired from our most iconic collection ͞Chandrika͟. Our source of inspiration is the city of Jaipur, the frescoes we found at the palaces, the art and architecture of different monuments in Jaipur. We also tried to showcase some Rajasthani art work. The idea was to keep it very modern, contemporary and colorful.
SUNDARI by SABYASACHI
Artist bio: Summer of 1999, Sabyasachi Mukherjee graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India with three major awards. Four months later, Sabyasachi started his eponymous label, which began with a workforce of just three persons. Over the years, he has successfully built a clothing brand, which has a very strong social perspective. Quick to understand the demands of the Indian market, Sabyasachi has created a luxury fashion brand that is not only highly sought after in India but all over the world. Despite the onslaught of the new trends Sabyasachi has remained a name that has only gone from strength to strength.
Inspiration behind design: When I think of the Ambassador, I think of a happy, old lady who is very comfortable with her weight. Taking cue from that association, I decided to make a cheerful, yellow car with upholstery that is also inspired by the flora of the
Sundarbans and my memories of Enid Blyton͛s The Magic Faraway Tree. Cutwork Benarasi curtains and a cornucopia of ethnic cushions came together to create an eclectic representation of everything I have associated this car with- memories of childhood, an old-world charm and an inexplicable feeling of happiness.
Artist bio: Lekhraj Singh, our expert Pichwai artist, belongs to our muse city of Jaipur. For years his paintings have adorned the walls of Anita Dongre Flagships. Every stroke, every colour of his paintings narrate a beautiful story of Rajasthan, of Gods and their devotees, of nature and the wild. Lekhraj Ji learnt this traditional art form from his master Guru Phool Singh Ji during his high school. He has been making Pichwai masterpieces ever since he graduated. Inspired by the traditions of passing down the art from generation to generation, he is now teaching his youngest son the same.
Inspiration behind design: Pichvai, the traditional Rajasthani art-form from Nathdwara, is what we have used to create our artwork. The dying craft is in a similar position as the Asian elephants. The two go hand in hand. The rich, beautiful craft is used to say a story. The story itself revolves around the perfect natural forest.͛ Anita is fascinated by the balance and harmony in nature. She questions, through this artwork, why humans deviate from balance and destroy numerous habitats for selfish quests. The artwork shows the beauty instability, in a forest.
Artist bio: A graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi, Varun Bahl launched his eponymous label in 2001. He showcased his Spring/Summer 2004 collection at White in Italy to both international acclaim and commercial success. Later, he was chosen by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to showcase his SS ’07 and AW ’07-’08 collections at Milan Fashion Week, making him one of the first Indian designer ever to participate on the calendar. Varun’s work marries the beauty of heritage Indian handcrafted embroideries with a modern colour sensibility. His clothes range from traditional saris and lehenga ensembles to contemporary separates like trousers, tunics, jackets, and dresses. He is known for the lightness of his fabrics and not overloading them with heavy embellishments. He has been dubbed the couturier of flowers because of his love for floral motifs that he explores in each of his collections—whether couture or ready-to-wear—via embroideries, weaves, and prints.
Inspiration behind design: The design is inspired by the Art Nouveau period, the last era of beauty before the turn of the 20th century. The intricate curvilinear patterns of sinuous asymmetrical lines with floral and plant-inspired motifs encourage the organic forms and patterns of that period to flow from one object to another.
DANCE OF THE PEACOCK and BIRD OF PARADISE by ROHIT BAL
PROXY by PRINCESS PEA
Artist bio: Princess Pea treads a fine line between the world of fairytale and the mundane.
As Princess Pea, the artist presents to the world her alter ego in the form of a ‘living toy’ , an anime style figure that can neither talk, smell nor hear. The broad scope of her practice challenges perceptions about our conceived notions of self-worth, identity, perfection, and the conflict between traditional and contemporary roles of women in Indian today.
The artists live and work in Gurgaon, Haryana (a suburb of New Delhi).