A quiet worker, a born stylista, an former supermodel and daughter-in-law of the Wankaner royal family, Kunwarani Ritu Sinh can be best defined as a firebrand with the zest to go beyond the brief of life and achieve something on her own steam. A craft curator who has lived, worked with and experienced fashion of the finest quality, Ritu is also a legacy keeper, who decided to revive the traditional forms of costumes worn at celebrations by the erstwhile royals.
Ritu Sinh is a self-made design professional, who creates a complete festive line under her brand, Kanwarani Ritu, which is widely worn and patronized by Bollywood divas like Karishma and Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Jahnvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan. Her collection of aabhas, angrakhas, chaniya cholis and farshis are made out of the finest block-printed cottons, created by a cluster of artisans based in Rajasthan. To that, she adds a touch of festivity, embroidering them with gota patti and embellishing each piece with exciting tassels, bells and baubles.
Ritu has been privy to the finest royal influences from every side. Her mother-in-law is one of the six daughters of the dynamic leader, the late Maharaja Dinesh Singh of Kala Kankar. Among the rich costumes worn by all her aunts, uncles and grandaunts, Ritu finds an entire universe of inspiration. «The Indian royal women wear their chiffon saris with the utmost elan. They often couple their saris, mostly floral or embellished with woven borders, with sharp jackets crafted from the finest of silks, fully embroidered and embellished. My journey with design started with the reviving of these jackets. However, I soon discovered and fell in love with the poetry-like flow of the poshak, especially the ones worn by women of the hill kingdom. My collection is an ode to this heritage silhouette,” says Ritu.
Full of beans and very verbose, Ritu found her feet first through the one forum that most young, design-oriented blue-blooded women patronize: Royal Fables. Her first stint as a revivalist was when she went with a group of royals to Thailand, where Royal Fables had been invited to showcase as part of the Incredible India Festival. Her gota patti stationery, tiny potlis, handmade knick knacks reverberated the beauty of Gujarat and were an instant sell out. Overnight, the reticent bahu found her entrepreneurial abilities and her zen for design, and the rest is history.
Kanwarani Ritu, the brand, tries to create festive collections that are «easy, breezy, boho and chic”. “I feel that women need to dress down a bit and allow their inner light to shine through,» says Ritu. From pleasing pastels to feisty reds, from fully embellished aabhas, to delicately detailed dhoti pants, the brand is a dream for those who want to look their celebratory best, without getting confused for a Christmas tree.