JJ Valaya: India designer brings royalty to Delhi streets

JJ Valaya Photographs Image copyright J J Valaya
Image caption Mr Valaya says the photographs are his "tribute to this great city of Delhi... to its people, past and present"

A selection of pictures taken by fashion designer-turned-photographer JJ Valaya, which shows models dressed up as characters from the Mughal and Rajput era amid scenes from present-day Delhi, are being exhibited in the Indian capital.

Valaya is one of India's best known designers and his clothes are often inspired by the opulence of the royal courts.

For this series of photographs, he made his models wear grand costumes designed by him and put them in "unstaged" chaotic settings of contemporary Delhi.

"The Indian capital has always been a seat of power and has a long history as the pivot of several empires. Today's Delhi... shows that its magic lives on its streets," Mr Valaya says.

The exhibition, titled Revisiting Beauty, is on at Delhi's Threshold Art Gallery until 20 October.

Image copyright JJ Valaya
Image caption In this collection of photographs - called Decoded Paradox - Mr Valaya says he has tried to "infuse the two separate periods of time into a single frame" by combining a staged setting - based upon the city's feudal legacy - with the reality of the Delhi today
Image copyright J J Valaya
Image caption "It often amazes me that the same roads that were once reserved for kings and queens to ride on are now common to the average man," says JJ Valaya
Image copyright J J Valaya
Image caption For the photographs, Mr Valaya persuaded his friends and members of his staff to dress up in elaborate costumes and model. The photos were shot at Delhi landmarks as well as in alleys and homes
Image copyright J J Valaya
Image caption "The visuals communicate two rather different scenarios… The almost frozen form of the fictitious historical personages from a nostalgia evoking past, surrounded by a very alive and vivid present," Mr Valaya says