The Gaekwads Fashion
For Centuries, Indian textiles have been appreciative of countless aesthetics and purposeful qualities. In the earliest times, designers in India belonged to various regional schools throughout the country. Their satisfactory creative instincts and astonishing skill gave Indian Textile their notable beauty.
The Gaekwads trace their ancestries to Pune- to a Maratha Kshatriya fraternity by the name of Matre, meaning Minister. In the 17th century, a prosperous farmer called Nandaji had become a militant protector of cows, gaining the nickname “Gae-kaiwari”. After that this label stuck to the family, but was simplified to “Gaekwad”.
In the period of Pilaji Rao Gaekwad, Gaekwads began ruling Baroda- a Maratha general took over the city in 1712 from the Mughals. Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda was the ruling prince from the Hindu Maratha Clan of Gaekwads. It was one of the wealthiest states with flourishing businesses of cotton, Rice, Sugar, and Wheat during British rule. Post-Independence Baroda became a city of Maharashtra.
In terms of Customs and culture Gaekwads were known to be very traditional. They have a love for everything iconic and outstanding, right from the embellished rides like elephants and horses to the finely decorated carriages. Gaekwads wore long fine silk robes, attractive turbans, Fine jewels, and swords covered with jewels which were a pure symbol of Bravery. They were extremely fond of pearls and the same can be seen in paintings that show Maharajas in heavy strings of pearls and gemstones.
Maharaja wore luxurious clothing with fine jewels as he was regarded as a divinity by his subjects. Maharaja Gaekwad wore small turbans neatly tied which were made from a fabric woven in centers of Western India. Purple or gold colors on the white or yellow background were used for turbans. Maharaja wore robes decorated with sequins and finished with silk piping. Also, another dress called Angarkha was a robe worn by men. This garment “Angarakha” was fully made of brocade, pure chanderi fabric, or even modest plain pure cotton as the occasion demanded royals used to pick up the garments to give the best impression.
Maharaja also wore western outfits and adopted western Styles and Mannerisms. Gaekwads wore one more popular outfit called “Achkan”. Achkan of Gaekwads had in itself many specific highlighting features which make it distinct and outstanding. The main feature of Achkan is the seven buttons opening in front and three buttons on each sleeve, these buttons were made of gold and silver with the monogram of Gaekwads on them. Maharaja of Gaekwads is always known for their Lavishness, Jewels, Big Palaces, wealth, and outstanding Bold Attire. The idea of antique and different cuts seen in the clothing of royals are serving the Fashion styles not only for their own Indian Culture but also for the western style and the trendsetters.
One more thing to know about the Maharaja of Baroda- Sayajirao Gaekwad was the one who sent B.R. Ambedkar to United States of America for higher education on a scholarship.