There’s no doubt that US First Lady Michelle Obama has a knack for fashion. If Jackie O gave the world the pill box hat and over-sized sunglasses, then Mrs O showed them how to mix couture dresses with high street labels. A few days before Michelle lands in India, her favourite necklace — made in Delhi — is already making waves with the Capital’s swish set.
Designed by South Africa-born, Delhi-based jewellery designer, Pieter Erasmus, the necklace costs Rs17,000 to Rs18,000. It first came into the limelight when Michelle wore it for the White House Correspondents dinner in 2009. It was then dubbed the MObama necklace by UK’s Grazia magazine.
“It was just sheer luck. Just a month before Mrs Obama bought it, the store in Chicago where she bought it had placed an order with us,” says Erasmus. He learned that she had bought it only when he chanced upon a photograph of her wearing it.
After Michelle was spotted wearing it, Erasmus took four months to fill out the deluge of orders. “We’ve got orders from customers in India, too. As the necklace is India inspired, I am sure many women here would like to own one. Indian women have a great sense of accessorising,” he says.
The necklace, which takes 18 hours to make, includes fresh-water-pearls, Swarovski crystals, glass beads, acrylic flowers and Zari crochet thread. The design has been inspired by the jewellery of the Nizam’s court in 1700s.
“You need the confidence of being married to the world’s most powerful man to pull this off. But then most Delhi girls have that confidence!” says stylist Meetu Booker-Soni.