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Designer bling for your buck

As an increasing number of fashion designers start jewellery lines, we wonder if their baubles are actually wearable, or just gimmicks.

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 26, 2013 18:34 IST
Shweta Mehta

Manish Arora is among the most popular designers in India. But this year, it isn’t his clothes that have grabbed 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 showed 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 buyers. “We stock jewellery and accessories by Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta and others. 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 the city, adding that she’s impressed by Gupta’s baubles as well as Anupamaa Dayal’s neckpieces, bracelets and even headgear.

Even established jewellery brands like 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 doing anything 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 approaching them for collaborations. For Ferreira, fine jewellery is a natural progression from the embroidered pieces that
he’s done before. “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. Later ranges have had emeralds, rubies and elephant and peacock motifs.

“I was prompted to do this when I’d see women in lovely outfits and mismatched jewellery that ruined the look. The passion to coordinate fine clothing with the correct jewellery gives an interesting twist to traditional jewellery designs,” she says.

Where to buy
Kimaya, Juhu and Kemps Corner
Fuel, Khar and Chowpatty
Atosa, Khar
Aza, Juhu and Altamount Road
Chamomile, Khar and Lower Parel