Anita Lal is India’s first tastemaker for Christie’s

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Anita Lal is India’s first tastemaker for Christie’s

Good Earth’s creative director collaborates with London auction house to showcase art from ‘Islamic and Indian worlds’

Good Earth’s creative director collaborates with London auction house to showcase art from ‘Islamic and Indian worlds’

Not surprisingly, 73-year-old Anita Lal, known by her initials AL, is the fashionista at Christie’s spring sale this week. After all, the founders of Good Earth, a homeware and apparel company that celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, have led a number of craft interventions. The brand supports interior restorations such as the Raj Mahal Palace in Jaipur, a collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum (an exhibition of Indian fabrics), and more recently an heirloom project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It marks the decade of the Islamic wing of the museum.This month, as a fashionista Art from the Islamic and Indian worlds, including oriental rugs and rugsLal edited personal favorites from the sale and curated digital vignettes with Good Earth products, items she’s “cherished over the years”.

Tabriz rug imagined at home in Derry's Anita Lal

Tabriz rug imagined at home in Derry’s Anita Lal

While this is the first time Christie’s has collaborated with fashionistas in India, past fashionistas include Aerin Lauder (American luxury brand Aerin) and British interior designers Rita Konig and Kit Kemp. Meanwhile, at Christie’s headquarters in central London, the three-room vignettes have been recreated using Lal’s own selection of pieces from Good Earth. They will be displayed alongside some 211 lots from the 9th to 19th centuries. More from the founder and creative director of Good Earth:

“Islamic culture is so deeply integrated into the Indian subcontinent that it is reflected in our clothing, music, food, language and decorative patterns. It is so integral to our lives that we hardly notice it”Anita Lalgood earth founder

What drew you into the Islamic design vocabulary, and which collections from Good Earth best exemplify this?

As a design firm outside of India, we celebrate every cultural aspect of the subcontinent [including Vedic, Buddhist, Persian and Mughal influences, and from lands across the Silk Road]. Islamic culture is deeply integrated into the Indian subcontinent, reflected in the way we dress, music, food, language and decorative patterns.

Over the years, we have created a number of design collections based on certain aspects of Islamic design, including vintage shawls.One of my favorites is Farabaksha Persian/Urdu term that translates to “giver giver”, inspired by the Persian paradise garden Charbagh created by the Mughals in Kashmir.

Radha and Krishna on the terrace of Mount Pahari, India, early 19th century. Painting and folio (estimate £10,000-15,000)

Radha and Krishna on the terrace of Mount Pahari, India, early 19th century. Painting and folio (estimate £10,000-15,000)

What do you like most to work with?

If I had to pick one item from the sale, it would be a Tabriz rug. Van Vaibhav means “Bright of the Forest” and is the main theme of Good Earth. Flowering trees and birds and animals are recurring themes in our designs and are so beautifully interpreted on this rug.

You mentioned that you think visual and emotional appeal is superior to the monetary value of artefacts.

I treasure everything from the smallest handmade ceramic vases to large sculptures or antique chairs, and I mix them up. My home is an effortless mix of everything I love, including some priceless heritage antiques and Agra prison rugs, as well as studio pottery I’ve been collecting and a lot of Indian art my husband has bought over the years. Our furniture is also a combination of modern furniture, placed side by side with vintage furniture from the ancestral home of the Hisar family.

what to expect

Christie’s auctions works of art dating from the 9th to the 19th century, with approximately 211 lots ranging from manuscripts and paintings to ceramics, metalwork and carpets. About 70 rugs and rugs represent various aspects of Persian rug weaving, from the naturalistic and delicate floral depictions woven in Tabriz, Iran, to the earthy, warm palette of Kurdish nomads.

A fashionista who sets up a gala dinner and entertains at home?

Beam Bissell [wife of Fabindia’s founder, the late John Bissell] Be the first to think of fashionistas. Her stylish home reflects her warm personality, and she entertains in a relaxed, informal style, mixing fun people of all ages with diverse interests. Bissell Christmas Brunch is legendary.

Open for viewing until March 30. Auctioned on 31 March in King Street, London. For more information visit christies.com

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