By Sanjana Gupta Taduri
“When I wore the Khada dupatta at my wedding, a garment passed on to brides in the family, I didn’t give it a lot of thought. But it was at once desired by everyone,” remarked Sahebzadi Feroze Jahan Begum, the great-granddaughter of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
“Fashion can be traced back to our heritage,” she remarks.
Currently, Feroze is on a mission. Under her current project, she will travel across India hoping to shed light on how restored palaces across India are able to maintain remnants of royals who reigned in the past. Aside from spreading heritage and history, Feroze will also stage a photo shoot in which she will wear the Khada Dupatta alongside the historic monuments and old architecture at various locations.
Feroze Jahan begum’s main goal is to make the current generation aware of the Nizams’ era; their food, culture and ‘adab-o-akhlaq’.
“It worries me that each passing generation loses touch with Hyderabad’s history a little more than the previous one. It is haunting to see works of historical relevance in such a dilapidated state. My goal is to protect the neglected architecture and culture that Hyderabad has held on to for many years,” she said.
Feroze’s last trip was to meet the royal family of Bhopal. Her next trip will be to Bangalore. During her visit to Bhopal, Feroze Jahan Begum also met the state’s former royal family there. The Begum of Bhopal’s sons, Obaidullah Khan and Hamidullah Khan, are the descendants of Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum. She also promoted Hyderabadi culture, food, attire, and history by talking about Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur and his contributions.
The link between fashion and history is hard to miss. Hyderabad’s very own sixth Nizam Mahbub Ali Pasha played a key role in the evolution of modern-day Sherwani.
“No matter how drastically fashion changes, we keep going back to royal India’s treasured outfits. All big designers find their way to vintage and antique designs. I strongly feel the urge to connect with that style of clothing. It comes with a cultural atmosphere of its own and exemplified the royals’ sartorial sophistication,” she added.
Feroze hopes to launch a clothing line in keeping with her desire to honour the Nizam’s fashion aesthetic. Her own royal blog, ‘lifeofbegum‘, will debut soon.