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Concours d’elephant is an initiative by the British royal family to conserve the Indian elephants. Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall who is also the Joint President of Elephant Family officially launched the Concours d’elephant on 21st June at the Oriental Club in London’s West End.
The event-epitomized magnum opus with a cavalcade of the Indian traditional vehicles gracing the streets of London with the aim of raising awareness regarding the charity for protecting the Asian elephant in the gala dinner and the auction at Royal Hospital Chelsea scheduled for 28th June.
At the event, Her Royal Highness, Mark Stewart (Elephant Family Ambassador) and Patrick Mark (Elephant Family trustee) welcomed Camilla Parker Bowles. The Duchess also met with several other illustrious personalities who are dedicated towards the cause of protecting the elephants like Jodie Kidd and Levin Woodson, Olivia Grant and Waris Ahuwalia.
Concours d’elephant fuses the two greatest love of founder Mark Shand- endangered elephants and bespoke and splendid automobiles. Every year, the event witnesses a fleet of Indian vehicles rendered an out-of-the-box twist by some of the most sought-after couturiers from India and Britain. Some of these illustrations are the vintage ambassador, the Royal Enfield Classic 500 motorcycles, the unique tuk-tuks and the three-wheeled Gujarati chagda. All these vehicles with the much-coveted designer are a connoisseur’s delight and hence, displayed at the auction. The money raised from the sales is used for the conservation of the endangered species of elephants in Asia.
Artists who contributed for the concours d’elephant are Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anita Dongre, Akansha Arora for Tribe Amrapali, Gaurav Gupta, Manish Maholtra, Philip Colbert, Varun Bahl, Rebecca Campbell and Belstaff amongst others. However, the one creation that stood out and hogged the limelight is Sundari- a yellow ambassador by Sabyasachi Mukherjee . According to the design maven, the ambassador symbolizes an “irresistible old-world charm. Quaint but functional and dependable”.
This provided fodder to the designer to give a makeover to the yellow beast with upholstery that are inspired from the floral design of the Sundarbans and his languid memories of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’. If you thought that this all to whisk the beholder to a land of magic, then hold your breath coz the master weaver from Bengal have accentuated his dream yellow ambassador with Benarasi curtains and ethnic cushions.
This artistic piece is an ode to the rapturous memories of his childhood set in the backdrop of 80’s Calcutta and the designer left no stones unturned to catapult the fame of the bygone yellow ambassador to a global platform.
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