There was a time in India, particularly in the years immediately following economic liberalisation, when designers were synonymous with apparel. However, things have changed.
“Today, there are professional designers for jewellery, accessories, home interiors, lifestyle and utility products, among others. Indian jewellery designers are soon catapulting to limelight just like their counterparts in the domain of garments,” says Preeti Piplani, who completed a course in jewellery design from the Indian Institute of Jewellery in Mumbai.
Explaining the surge in demand for jewellery designers, she explains, “Jewellery designing earns a lot of foreign exchange for our country. The socio-economic dynamics of the country have undergone a lot of change in recent years.The number of people with disposable income has increased enormously. A significant portion of demand for professionally-crafted jewellery comes from this section of society. And that is not not all. People have become more conscious about the jewellery they wear and every piece is not just an investment but a style statement. Hence, there is demand for personalised jewellery that suits various moods and ocassions.
“In this context, it will not be wrong to state that the jewellery industry has experienced a boom in recent years, this in turn has commercialised the art and opened new avenues for job seekers,” she says.
Earlier, a few select families ran the business of jewellery designing and jewellery making. The technical knowledge associated with it was kept a closely guarded secret and passed on from generation to generation. But with the industry opening up all this has changed now, adds Piplani.
So what are some of the popular trends in design?
“Today, men and women are looking for modularity and multifunctionality in jewellery pieces. Hence, asymmetrical and imperfect shapes that make for great style statements are the trend,”says Piplani.
There is also great demand for multi-coloured gemstones.
National Institute for Design, Ahmedabad
National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi
Lady Irwin College, (Fabric and Apparel Science), Delhi
CEPT University, Gujarat
Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru
J D Birla Institute, Kolkata
Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai
Institute of Home Economics, Delhi