Above: Silk and cotton apparel at Rasa
From clothing to carvings, expect a colorful retail experience in India’s fabled Pink City.
By Fiona Caulfield
The capital of rajasthan, jaipur has long been a magnet for India’s creative force. Artisans and architects alike flocked here to work in the ateliers of Rajput royals, mastering crafts ranging from stone carving and woodwork to intricate embroidery and block printing. Today, a talented group of designers are giving the city’s artistic traditions a fresh, modern edge.
An old house converted into an intimate boutique, Rasa marks the retail debut for husband-and-wife design team Madhulika and Manish Tibrewal. Lending traditional block printing a contemporary look, the Tibrewals’ creations include elegant homewares—think hand-painted throw pillows and embroidered wall hangings—and fine-cotton apparel (S55 Ashok Marg, C-Scheme; 91-141/403-8584).
Inside the Rasa boutique.
Inspired by Jaipur’s heritage but looking to the future, Varun and Chandrakant Seth opened Frozen Music to showcase their talent with stone. Working with a team of 50 craftsmen, the brothers shape marble and rock into everything from traditional jali screens to decorative inlays that are snapped up by hotels and private collectors around the world. Look for the marble dishes carved to resemble lotus flowers, which are just the right size to fit in your hand luggage (H147, RIICO Industrial Area, Mansorover; 91-141/ 239-7791;frozen-music.com).
FDB Jaipur Jewelry
Fanny Dominique Boucher left Paris four years ago to work at one of Jaipur’s oldest and most storied jewelry houses. Now, she focuses on her own designs from this cozy home studio, which overflows with pieces inspired by the colors of the subcontinent but infused with French sensuality. Boucher’s gold and silver pieces are light and simple and feature gemstones sourced from local bazaars. Pick up ready-made rose quartz rings or glittery aquamarine earrings, or commission Boucher to work on a design of your own (B67 Yash Path, Tilak Nagarm; 91/982-925-8712).
Jaipur’s newest lifestyle studio comes courtesy of interior designers Samiir and Bhawna Wheaton, a husband-and-wife team set on spotlighting the city’s creative energy. Their airy boutique-cum-gallery is a great place to browse for modern homewares from some 20 local designers; block-printer to the stars Gitto sells her bedspreads and pillowcases here. While the store’s large sculptural pieces are inspiring, easier to carry away are paintings by renowned Jaipur artist (and Samiir’s mother) Jaya Wheaton (FE/8, Malviya Industrial Area; 91/982-906-7222).
Ayush Kasliwal Furniture Design
Another married couple, Ayush and Geetanjali Kasliwal are passionate about bringing Jaipur’s age-old artistic traditions into the 21st century. Alongside the owners’ handcrafted wooden furniture, this treasure-filled basement boutique stocks colorful knickknacks and fun homewares from local artisans. Signature products include trinetra (“third eye”) candleholders and wooden bowls traditionally used by Jain priests, sourced from the Rajasthani village of Rohida (B-6/A1, Prithviraj Rd., C-Scheme; 91-141/ 236-4863; akfdstudio.com).
Originally appeared in the August/September 2009 print issue of Travel Enzine magazine ( “Think Pink”)