4 months ago
4 months ago
Last year, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs paid tribute to the Maharajah of Indore, a visionary dandy and influencer of the 1920s. His avant-garde aesthetic, imbued with Indian fantasy, has not lost its breath. More than ever, pop-culture artists, fashion designers and contemporary designers celebrate oriental folklore in a clash of colours, materials and patterns.
A « neo-Bollywood » that proudly brandishes oriental kitsch, Indian clichés and cultivates the country’s creative effervescence in a resolutely modern twist. Welcome to the new Bollywood Temple!
Recently propelled onto the music scene, Sri Lankan Priya Ragu and Indian-Americans Raveena Aurora and Madame Gandhi are imposing their vibrant and eclectic universe. Their R&B-influenced musical performances, textured with Indian sounds, have been a great success internationally. On the film side, Dev Patel, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan have brought together two worlds that seemed to be in opposition: Bollywood and Hollywood.
« The contrast of colours, very important in Hindu culture, dresses the facades and architectural monuments of India in a Memphis spirit – a trend that is said to have originated during Ettore Sottsass’ stay in the colourful city of Tirunamavalai in India. »
« A watered-down aesthetic that photographers, such as Vincent Leroux who captures Indian houses and buildings with multiple influences, delight in. A mixture of the traditional colours of the mandirs (Hindu temples), the brutalist architecture of the West, and the slightly superficial beauty of Bollywood film studios. »
A singular style adopted thousands of miles away. Let’s go to Papadoom in Paris, a canteen where you can dine in the company of Indians in the Grands Boulevards district. On the menu: papadum, the famous Indian lentil flour pancakes that accompany the aperitif, and Daïcurry instead of Daïquiri.
« The rich textures and saturated colours of India are also present in the craftsmanship and design. The Tantuvi studio’s collections are a proud nod to Indian culture. While its headquarters are in New York, the essence of its textile designs is in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The studio creates hand-woven pieces inspired by the colourful travertine quarries, where the earth turns from beige to ochre to deep ruby. »
« Indian nature, the vivid palette of madras (an Indian fabric) and other oriental inspirations are found in the collections and decorations of designer Laura Gonzalez, notably in the restaurant La Gare in Paris. A colourful and lush journey to the heart of India and its wild landscapes. »
« Ornamental botanicals, ikat patterns, mandalas… The first prints imported into Europe at the end of the 16th century, Indians – originally based on the principle of « mordant », the metallic salt that fixes the dye on the fibre – create folkloric and old-fashioned worlds that enliven contemporary interiors. »
Le sari, la kurta (chemise traditionnelle), le pagdi (chapeau indien), les motifs végétaux brodés et gravures dorées s’invitent dans les collections de mode. Bode et Tigra Tigra en tête de file qui donnent une seconde vie à des étoffes vintage à travers leurs pièces contemporaines. À l’inverse, si la créatrice Arpana Rayamajhi apporte son héritage népalais à ses bijoux, elle sort des carcans esthétiques orientaux en associant ses pièces à une partition stylistique minimaliste.
The Orient Express and the city of Bombay, two veritable Temples of Art Deco, are a source of inspiration for designers and interior architects who continue to draw on this trend to inject an artistic vocabulary into interiors. On the programme: cubist flowers, gilded woodwork, polished bronze, thick carpets, velvet armchairs…
India would not be India without its palaces, as precious as they are comfortable. From the unmissable Taj Mahal to the more secretive New Palace (former home of Maharaja Mahendrasinhji of Morvi) and the Taj Falaknuma Palace (former property of the nizam), India is full of architectural jewels that are now being brought back to the fore.