New Delhi: Popular designer Ritu Kumar has put her master craftsmen's skills to recreate the antique, traditional joda passed down to Sharmila Tagore, the Begum of Pataudi, for actress Kareena Kapoor's wedding outfit.
The original joda was gifted to her by her mother-in-law, Begum Sajida Sultan of Bhopal, who wore it for her wedding in 1939.
The Begum belonged to a dynasty founded by Dost Mohammad Khan, an important Muslim state, which had a unique tradition of women rulers.
Ritu Kumar said she recreated this ancient costume, using gold Benaras fabric, woven in the likeness of the fabrics used for the original ensemble.
The traditional bridal attire consists of a kurta, farshi paijama and dupatta made of rust and gold tissue which contrasts subtly with the soft green satin gote at the hem.
The neckline, sleeve ends, hem and side slits of the knee length kurta are all edged with a decorative zardozi border.
The embroidery was recreated in the likeness of the original by master craftspeople excelling in the craft of zardozi, who came from Lucknow with the exiled King of Oudh, Wajid Ali Shah to Metiabruz in Calcutta and took hundreds of man-hours to recreate.
The odhni is original from the time of the last century and was repaired to form the final part of the ensemble.
The joda took a better part of 4 months of pain staking crafts work to recreate and contemporize and forms part of an aesthetic of the family history, and is one of the few rare examples of a vintage old piece from an era gone by.
Ritu Kumar said that at the time of shooting the portraits of the Pataudi royal costumes of Royal India she was inspired by the stylistic elegance of the various ensembles in the collection- Sharmila Tagore, Nawab of Pataudi and Soha Ali Khan were shot for her book "Costumes and Textiles of Royal India".
Based on these styles, Sharmila's daughters- Soha and Sabah- are going to be wearing outfits like gararas and lehngas for the functions of the wedding.
"The experience of reviving an old heirloom like the one belonging to the Bhopal family was one of challenge. A few older craftspeople existed who understood the stitches and their use on three dimensional surfaces," said Kumar.
"A minimum of ten to twelve craftspeople worked for four months to recreate the splendour of the old costume.
"The fabric was also woven on old naksha looms of benaras to recreate an era gone by. The result was inspirational in its underplayed non bling avataar which looked almost if not equally rich as the original," she said.
Jewellry best worn with the outfit would be the traditional tikka, jhoommar and jhumkas and haars of the royalty of Bhopal as seen on Sharmila Tagore, said Kumar.
Kareena will get married to actor-producer Saif Ali Khan, the 10th Nawab of Pataudi, in October.