Farida Gupta Blogs

Gul Bano Collection - Floral Finesse in Fine Fabric

By: Shiv Pasricha 11 Sep, 2019

When we think of the Mighty Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved Mumtaz, the splendour of the Taj Mahal immediately comes to mind. One other lesser known outcome of their celebrated love was their eldest daughter- Jahanara Begum Sahib.

Gul Bano

A lady way ahead of her time, she was so much more than just a royal princess. At a tender age of 17, she was bestowed with the honour of being the First Lady of the Mughal Empire, after her mother’s demise. Apart from taking care of her grieving father and her siblings, she also ran a successful shipment business as a completely individual entity. Inclined towards architectural expression, she regularly assisted her father design some of the grand Royal Palaces that we admire today. One of her most notable contributions though, has been the designing of the heart of Old Delhi, “Chandni Chowk”- one of India’s busiest markets, dating back to the 17th century.

Her flair for creativity was also evident in her prose-writing, as well as in her love for gardens. Jahanara Begum and her sister Roshanara together laid out some of the most captivating gardens in their time, some of which are often described as ‘lost jewels’ by historians in their accounts of the Mughal Era.

A princess who loved flowers and gardens, making significant contributions in fields that were otherwise dominated by men, shattering stereotypes one day at a time- Princess Jahanara is one of the biggest yet least celebrated advocates of feminism.

Gul Bano Collection

For our upcoming collection, we explored new avenues in search of inspiration, keeping our eyes peeled and ears open- hoping for an epiphany. Stumbling upon this fascinating piece of history, our search come to a pleasant halt. Finding its origin in the Arabic language, Gul Bano literally translates to “Princess of Flowers”- a befitting name for our collection in every sense, that truly captures the essence of Princess Jahanara too. Embellished with vintage floral motifs in dainty hues, each outfit from the Gul Bano collection is all about our never-ending love for flowers.

Flipping through countless swatches, we’ve picked Chanderi fabric for this range. A type of handloom fabric native to Madhya Pradesh, the fabric borrows its name from the town ‘Chanderi’- a place where this art of weaving continues to thrive since time immemorial. A fabric that was widely used during the Mughal reign, old wives’ tales suggest the fabric dates as far back as the Vedic Period, created for the first time by Lord Krishna’s cousin – Shishupal. A traditional fabric characterized by its extremely light-weight, sheer texture and luxurious feel, Chanderi fabric exudes a distinct shimmering aesthetic.

This luxurious fabric coupled with the age-old art of rogan work, brings an element of Persian influence into the mix. Finding its way into Kutch over 400 years ago, Rogan prints create intense colours, making ingenious use of castor oil in the process. Our humble tribute to this dying art, we’ve inculcated this fascinating printing technique into all of our styles from this collection.

If you like what you read, check out our Gul Bano collection now.

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