HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, Joint President of Elephant Family, officially launched the Concours d’éléphant at the Oriental Club in London’s West End today, Thursday 21st June. The cavalcade of traditional Indian vehicles will tour London to raise awareness of the charity’s work to protect the Asian elephant ahead of a gala dinner and auction at Royal Hospital Chelsea on 28th June.
The Duchess was welcomed by Patrick Mark (Elephant Family trustee) and Mark Stewart (Elephant Family ambassador) and met with other Elephant Family supporters and ambassadors including actors Waris Ahluwalia and Olivia Grant, Jodie Kidd and Levison Wood before officially launching the start of the cavalcade.
A play on the traditional ‘concours d’élégance’ – a beauty parade for cars – Elephant Family has combined the twin passions of its late founder Mark Shand, elegant automobiles and endangered elephants, to create the Concours d’éléphant.
It brings together an eccentric and gorgeously decorated fleet of Indian vehicles beautifully reimagined by leading artists and designers from India and the UK. These include impossibly evocative Ambassador cars that once graced India’s roads; powerful, seductive (and brand new) Royal Enfield Classic 500 motorcycles; a couple of irresistible tuk-tuks and a solitary, three-wheeled, Gujarati ‘chagda’.
Instant classics and collectors’ items, the auction of the exotic Concours d’éléphant fleet will support the conservation of Asia’s rapidly dwindling elephant population.
Contributing artists include: Akanksha Arora for Tribe Amrapali, Anita Dongre, Anushka Khanna, Belstaff, Boyarde, Gaurav Gupta, House of Hackney, Dan Baldwin, Manish Malhotra, Paul Beamish for Krazy Horse, Philip Colbert, Rebecca Campbell, Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Saloni Lodha & Luke Edward-Hall, and Varun Bahl.
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