Manish Arora’s clothes line has always had fashion enthusiast and critics take note. However this year, it isn’t his clothes that have grabbed all attention. His maiden jewellery line for Amrapali continues to fly off the shelves, even as another one is expected to arrive soon.
Arora isn’t alone. Since the past few years, a slew of fashion designers are creating jewellery — some as an extension of their clothes, others as collaborations with high-end jewellers. Anita Dongre recently launched Pink City, her line of jadau jewellery.
“For the longest time, I’ve been toying with the idea of creating jewellery that coordinates with my clothes,” she says. “This is an extension of my craft and it’s a new label — not a one-off. I don’t have the technical know-how, so I collaborated with Jet Gems.” Dongre recently exhibited a part of the range at a city fashion week, and while the pieces were stunning, they didn’t find many takers. “Too expensive,” was the response that was mumbled to us on several occasions.
Is it just a gimmick then? That’s a question best posed to the buyers. “We stock jewels and accessories by Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta and the rest. It’s a fresh perspective as the designers are offering a complete vision of what their ensemble would look like,” says Gayatri Sahani, senior merchandiser at Ensemble, a multi-designer store in Mumbai.
Even established jewellery brands such as Gehna and Ghanasingh Be True have had limited-edition collections by designers. Maheka Mirpuri, who created a range for the latter, says, “I don’t believe in working with a short-term perspective. A one-off collection wouldn’t be of any value to me or the brand.”
Creative director Gautam Ghanasingh adds, “Our collection was a sell-out on the day of the show itself. Now, we’re coming up with a bridal collection in October.”
Gehna’s Sunil Datwani claims that after the success of their ranges by James Ferreira and Shaina NC, well-known designers are flocking in for collaborations. For Ferreira, fine jewellery is a natural progression from the embroidered pieces. “My first collection had cocktail rings; the next one has necklaces,” he says.
The brand’s other collaborator, Shaina NC, had a first collection of jadau, polki and diamonds in carved gold, two years ago. Her later ranges have usedw emeralds and rubies.
“I was prompted to do this when I’d see women in lovely outfits and mismatched jewellery that ruined the look. Co-ordinating fine clothing with the jewellery gives an interesting twist to traditional jewellery designs,” she says.