Ace designer Raghavendra Rathore has joined hands with one of the largest handmade rug makers in India and one of the oldest hand-woven rug companies in the world, OBEETEE to launch the third Proud to Be Indian (PTBI) collection. PTBI is a unique concept that showcases high-end boutique pieces, put together by India’s leading fashion designers. The initiative was led by OBEETEE’s distinguished design team and supported by India’s leading couturiers.
While Raghavendra Rathore is designing the third edition, the previous two editions, were conceptualised by fashion czars TarunTahiliani and Abraham&Thakore respectively. OBEETEE’s vision to introduce the incredible Indian craft to the rest of the world will see the coming together of India’s leading designers to display royal couture floor coverings that have never been woven before.
Rathore’s creations have always been renowned for the sumptuous scale of history, heritage and traditional vocabulary of design and craft embedded in them. However, for OBEETEE’s PTBI collection, he has dived even deeper into the royal grandeur that epitomizes Rajasthan, spending nearly five years working on the designs. Talking about the collection, Raghavendra Rathore said, “The collection epitomises old-world luxury and has the essence of a bygone era. The Marwar region, specifically Jodhpur, is the core inspiration for all ideas and vision behind the look and feel of these carpets. We have experimented heavily with paisleys, asymmetrical designs and unusual patterns to create unique design sensibilities taking references from the past.”
Rathore’s collection has taken shape over many drafts that bear resolute testimony to his signature-and hyper-obsessive-attention to detail. A member of the royal family of Jodhpur, the distinguished designer, has explored motifs, colours and patterns that are not just emblematic of his aristocratic lineage but are also finely nuanced with timeless lore. The jaw-dropping craftsmanship is vibrant with exquisite embroidery, intricate weaves and asymmetrical designs-all tirelessly put in place by weavers from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.
Rathore’s collection offers three variants, each with its unique background. The ‘Durbar Gaadi Masand’, rendered with opulent embroidery in velvet, derives inspiration from the textured royal sette used by kings and queens in darbars of yore. The artwork in ‘Rajasthan Architecture’, on the other hand, borrows inspiration from the majestic arches and structural design elements-including mirror work and brightly painted religious figures-of the Sheesh Mahal in Mehrangarh Fort. The third variant, ‘Coat of Arms’, is an offbeat showcase of logos, emblems, insignias and monograms of Rajput princely states and jagirs.