The renowned Animal Ball is making its long-awaited return to London after a three-year hiatus. Since its establishment in 2013, the Animal Ball has become one of the most esteemed charity fundraising events in the UK, generating millions of dollars for wildlife conservation and garnering support from global stars in the fashion, arts, film, and music industries.
This year, the Elephant Family, known for their efforts in conserving Asia’s wildlife and promoting peaceful coexistence among all living creatures, and the Tintra Foundation will be presenting the fundraiser. The event, taking place on June 28, will also celebrate the Elephant Family’s 20th anniversary and will be held at Lancaster House.
In line with the event’s theme, all attendees are expected to don sustainable animal masks created by the world’s top fashion houses. Representing India at the Animal Ball 2023 are esteemed couturiers Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, and Anita Dongre.
These three globally acclaimed designers are renowned for showcasing India’s rich heritage and craftsmanship through their designs. Each animal-themed mask reflects their distinctive design sensibilities. Let’s take a closer look at the incredible creations by these couturiers for the Animal Ball 2023.
Sabyasachi – The Bengal Tiger Mask
Sabyasachi Mukherjee is a gifted storyteller, dedicated to promoting economic sustainability for heritage crafts and craftsmen by sharing hyper-local narratives with the world. Currently in London, Sabyasachi presented an exclusive preview of his High Jewellery collection, specially curated for the Animal Ball edition. He has also crafted a unique animal-themed mask for this year’s fundraiser.
Known for his reverence for India’s National Animal, the tiger, Sabyasachi pays tribute to the majestic Bengal Tiger, native to the Sundarbans’ mangrove forests in Bengal. The Bengal Tiger Mask is meticulously handcrafted using traditional Indian artisanal techniques, created through a collaboration between artists from the Sabyasachi Art Foundation and master craftsmen from Bengal, specifically for the Animal Ball 2023.
The mask features Sabyasachi’s classic animal print and signature hand embroidery technique, known as Aakash-Tara, meaning “the stars in the sky.” The print is hand-drawn and embellished with meticulously hand-cut metal sequins by the skilled artisans at the atelier.
Sabyasachi and the Elephant Family share a long-standing partnership, as both are deeply committed to their respective fields of preserving endangered heritage crafts and conserving endangered animals and habitats. Sabyasachi expressed his thoughts on this collaboration with the non-profit organization on Instagram, stating, “The Elephant Family and I have similar yet distinct missions. While I strive to preserve endangered heritage crafts, they work towards conserving endangered animals and habitats. It has been my privilege to be part of their cause.”
Manish Malhotra – The Maharaja Mask
Manish Malhotra, an ardent admirer of India’s historical richness, has redefined modern heirloom fashion with his contemporary styles. As one of the most sought-after couturiers and costume designers, Manish has embarked on another successful endeavor with the creation of The Maharaja Mask.
In alignment with the Elephant Family’s mission, Manish aims to protect and celebrate our world’s precious heritage through this magnificent creation.
Describing the intricate details of the mask, Manish Malhotra shared his thoughts on Instagram, stating, “The Maharaja mask, symbolizing our majestic Indian lion, represents strength and protective leadership. Adorned with ethically-sourced feathers and topaz crystals, the mask serves as a testament to the preservation of craftsmanship, just as a lion fiercely safeguards its territory. We approach this endeavor with the same tenacity and devotion towards Indian art and artisans.”
Anita Dongre – Panchhi Mask
Anita Dongre, a pioneer in sustainable fashion, has always envisioned a world where kindness is extended to all living beings. Through the Panchhi Mask, she pays homage to the parrot, a significant bird in Pichwai paintings and an endangered species worldwide, finding refuge in India since 1972.
The Panchhi Mask, crafted with cruelty-free plant leather, showcases meticulous hand-painted details using the 400-year-old Pichwai technique, lovingly preserved and practiced by master artisans to this day.
Resplendent zardozi and golden thread embroidery highlight India’s timeless crafts and heritage. Anita Dongre expressed her enthusiasm for supporting this important cause on Instagram, stating, “I have always envisioned a harmonious world that embraces kindness towards all living beings. It is our privilege to continue our partnership with The Animal Ball as we work towards bringing this vision to life. We are proud to support @mrsganesh100 and @elephantfamily in their remarkable mission to create a landscape that fosters peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife.”
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