Maharani is the term for a wife of a maharajah, an Indian prince, and the SW3 emporium specialises in a wide yet exclusive selection of clothes and accessories, ‘fit for a maharajah or his wife’, like silk jackets, cashmere shawls, jewellery, home accessories (bedspreads and quilts) as well as antique textiles from the Indian sub-continent, especially from exotic places like Jaipur and Hyderabad.
“We aim to show our customers just some of the riches that are to be found there.“
Sarah Mahaffy describes herself as one of retail’s ‘late bloomers’. After all, before she opened Maharani, back in 2006, she had carved a 27-year career in book publishing.
If you want to delve into Indian craftsmanship some more, Maharani hold special events during the year, some of which include talks on textiles.
We aim to show our customers just some of the riches that are to be found in the textiles from the Indian subcontinent.Sarah Mahaffy
“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”
So you will find silk and cotton weaves, running stitch designs, embroidered muslins based on the chikan work from Lucknow, cotton tops and skirts all of which are exclusive to Maharani. We are pleased to include here photographs from Archana’s workshop. Recently we have also begun to work with Neeru Kumar, whose exquisitely designed clothing in tie-dyed silk, woven wools and silk and cottons is proving very popular.
Within the store you will also find cotton bedspreads, reversible cotton quilts and a range of old textiles including phulkari, bagh, kantha alongside the widest ranges of shawls in London. These include the finest embroidered and plain pashminas, shawls in wool and cashmere as well as silk and cotton shawls and dupattas.
Our pashminas come from Kashmir and we are proud to work with the Andrabi brothers who have done much to bring this beautiful work back into the public eye.
We also sell costume jewellery from Jaipur.
Everything in the store has been sourced personally in India.
173 Fulham Rd
020 7581 0769
Photographer and sometime publisher or is it the other way around?
Co-founder Independent London.
photography©Moritz Steiger 2016 Content ©Independent london 2016