Architectural Digest India

Architectural Digest India

It was an honour to be interviewed by writer and Jaipur resident Shalbha Sarda for an article in Architectural Digest India.

Under the veranda of The Rajmahal Palace (pictured), the first hotel I ever visited in Rajasthan, we chatted for hours.

Shalbha and I discussed tablescaping, travel and inspiration but I love how she wasn't afraid to delve deeper too: concerns over Western businesses taking advantage of artisans and how they can give back. It was a privilege to share my business approach with her, as well as an opportunity to share more about Vimukti Sanstha.

"Table linen designer and creator Rosanna Falconer serves her dinner in style."

When did you first visit Jaipur?

"In 2018, I came to India for my honeymoon (pictured). My husband studied Indian history; we don't have a huge amount of things in common, but both love India. I came to stay in heritage hotels, wander through the colour-stroked streets, and experience the essence of Indian culture, but it was the people and many crafts that are rooted in the city I fell in love with and kept returning to Jaipur again for them."

Blue room chhavi niwas at City Palace in Jaipur

How does Jaipur inspire you?

"My eyes delight in the city's saturated pigments — from bougainvillaea flourishing along the roads to trucks bedecked in tinsel. The festival's processions, hidden palaces, glorious jewels, and quirky sights like a monkey and peacock crossing the street together are visual stimulations. Then there are the melodies: the percussion of puja punctuating the day or the rubbish van outside with repeated tunes and the heady mix of fragrances in the flower market of the old city. Specific places like Chhavi Niwas City Palace (pictured) inspired my Dahlia Jewel collection, as did the pale blue frescoes of Samode Palace's Durbar Hall."

How does your work give back to India and supporting local artisans?

The preservation of this heritage craft is so important; it is the antithesis of the fast-paced techniques prevalent in the West. It has been a privilege to work with some of the famed block printers of Jaipur; their dexterity and precision are a marvel to witness first-hand. I want to do my small part in their preservation by sharing them across my social platforms and creating designs for people to buy globally.

That drives me and the opportunity to support Vimukti Sanstha, a non-profit that educates and develops the future careers of underprivileged girls in Jaipur. Since 2004, Vimukti Sanstha has developed from 20 students to over 600, with 60% of their graduates pursuing higher education and 27% employed in long-term roles. I contribute 10% of the profits from my table linen business and all event income to the school. This year, I have hosted a session on female mentorship, creative hurdles, and motherhood with the older pupils, as well as a flower painting workshop at the school. I'm working on more ways to support these brilliantly talented, ambitious young women.

Read the full interview here.

Block printing the blue peony print in Jaipur

Architectural Digest India

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All customers will receive a menu card printed with Rosanna's Jaipur Bloom design.

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