Animal Ball 2023: King Charles III, Queen Camilla sport Shola masks by Indian designer Sabyasachi
The masks are a tribute to Bengal's vibrant culture and traditions according to the popular Indian designer
Recently, King Charles III and Queen Camilla hosted London's popular, Animal Ball. The event was organised to celebrate the world’s wildlife and mark the 20th anniversary of the NGO, The Elephant Family. The royals opted for unique Shola masks from the shelves of Indian designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, for the event.
Sabyasachi shared a picture of the same on his Instagram and wrote, “Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla. With Ruth Ganesh from Elephant Family and Sabyasachi at The Animal Ball 2023. The Elephant Family and I are committed to similar but different missions. While I aim to preserve endangered heritage crafts, they conserve endangered animals and habitats. It’s my privilege and honour to be a part of their cause.”
The designer also talked about the making of the Shola Masks. He said, “The Shola masks have been made by hand using age-old artisanal techniques and materials, as a collaboration between the artists from the Sabyasachi Art Foundation and the master craftspeople of Bengal. The masks celebrate the continuity of one of Bengal’s most treasured heritage crafts that is practised by about 5,000 artisans. Shola is the craft of carving sholapith, the spongey cork from the aquatic plant that grows in the marshlands of Bengal. Every year the craftspeople make decorations for the deities and entire structures during the Durga Puja celebrations–that is a part of UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Shola Masks are made in homage to Bengal’s living heritage and culture.”
At the Lancaster House, the Kolkata-born designer also displayed his exquisite jewellery line. Talking about it, Sabyasachi wrote, “The Bengal tiger necklace is crafted in 18k gold with a 109.95-carat Zambian emerald and a 5.06-carat old mine cut diamond with multicoloured and organic gemstones, and brilliant cut diamonds.”
Popular Indian designers like Manish Malhotra, and Anita Dongre represented the country at the ball by creating masks and outfits for celebrities who attended the event.