As I made my way through the marigold-clad black iron gate into the sprawling garden estate, I was transported into a poetic world of Lucknow’s Mughal courtyard. Billionaires H S Narula and wife Surina opened their lush green garden estate to support renowned South Asian dance company Akademi. The charity garden gala recreated the magic of Umrao Jaan – an Urdu classic, based on the famous Lucknow courtesan. It was Akademi’s first ever fundraising gala and their sheer dedication toward their passion was fully evident in the interactive Umrao Jaan narration. It was conceptualised by Mira Kaushik, Director, Akademi and brought to life by creative director Subhalaxmi Mukherjee.
Umrao Jaan’s story is set in the 19th Century Oudh when a young girl named Amiran is kidnapped from her family in Faizabad, Oudh by her neighbour. Engaging with the medium of dance, poetry and storytelling, the event retraced the girl’s journey amidst the exquisite surroundings of Hyver Hall estate. The ambience created by Akademi’s dancers and artists was mesmerizing and enthralled the audience, transporting them to 19th century Lucknow.
The event was attended by many known names in the British Asian community in London. The dress code was lounge suits or nawabs and begums. The crowd stuck to the theme and we spotted some beautiful nawabi costumes and jewellery. The jewellery for artists was sponsored by Art Karat and wardrobe by Onitaa and Jyoti Chandhok. I was there in my capacity as fashion stylist and blogger for Jyoti Chandhok. The event was a perfect amalgamation of fashion, dance, poetry and nature, all for a great cause.
Finally this is what I wore for the event. Unfortunately I couldn’t stick to the nawabi dress code because my body shape has changed and nothing fits. However I do like what I wore.
Hope you got a glimpse of the event through this post. Have a look at my picture gallery below and be transported to the world of Umaro Jaan.
Image Credits : Simon Richardson