For winter/bridal 2019, Diva’ni presents ethnic ensembles that narrate tales of yore through their designs. Vogue decodes the making of this vintage-inspired collection and its campaign

For her couture brand Diva’ni, creative director Sanya Dhir often looks towards time-honoured traditions to borrow inspiration for her new collections. And her latest line serves as the perfect example. The collection, which takes cues from the dressing culture of Maharani Sucharu Devi and her sister, HH Suniti Devi of Cooch Behar, presents sheer imagery and delicate aesthetics dipped in royalty. It brings to life ensembles in hues of rose gold, champagne, marsala and mercury. Think outfits crafted using exquisite French lace, hand-spun georgette and silk fabrics, which have been further accented with zardozi techniques and ornate elements.


The range is diversified with French lace saris, lehengas with tulle skirts covered in sequins, chevron lehengas, Victorian-inspired blouses, and more that wouldn’t look out of place at a palace wedding. There’s also sharara sets, lace shirts and anarkalis. Every ensemble is complemented with delicate lace tissue dupattas featuring handcrafted zari work and beaded fringes—making them apt for those who lean towards all things vintage.

Acutely feeding the nostalgic appeal is the brand’s latest campaign. Set in 1904, ‘Maharani Sahiba’ unfolds the forbidden love story of a reformist queen, Sucharu Devi, and a philosopher king, Maharaja Shriram Chandra Bhanj Deo, which was erased from our history. The narrative takes the viewer to the time the queen spent at the Belgadia Palace built by the king. “Diva’ni campaigns have always narrated a story about the women we believe in, and about the cultures we feel rooted in. ‘Maharani Sahiba’ is even more special as it was such a heartfelt tribute to the Mayurbhanj Dynasty,” Dhir says about thought behind the campaign. Scroll ahead to look at snippets from their latest campaign.