Get set for some baubles, bling and bejewelled beauties. Gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls and emeralds…Here’s a live report by ARCHANA ACHAL from the third India International Jewellery Week

With the festive season around the corner, it was the perfect time to see what some of the best jewellery designers in India had to offer. And what better platform can there be than the third India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), held over five days in Mumbai. This year’s edition was a grand affair and its sister event, the India International Jewellery Show saw the number of participating countries go up from 54 to 69.

Sanjay Kothari, Vice Chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) stated that while rising gold prices affected the consumer, the jewellery export industry was quite resilient. He also said that the demand for Indian jewellery was on the rise and that the luxury jewellery industry was a growing one. Buyers from other countries were still very interested in the Indian jewellery scene and that’s why IIJW, where the best of the best go on display, was an important show. When asked about the trends spotted this year, he said that lightweight and innovative jewellery were the most popular, and we couldn’t agree more! The ramp sizzled with models showing off new collections from a number of designers and here we bring you some of the trends spotted at the shows.

Go natural

Designers seem to have flower power on their minds as many created pieces using the floral motif in various forms. Some, like Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers from Jaipur gave their collections an eco-conscious framework, taking inspiration from nature and representing it in jewellery. From intricate and larger-than-life brooches to simple earrings, flowers in diamonds and coloured stones bloomed on the runway. The ‘Palash’ collection by Kashi Jewellers also featured the floral motif.

The favourite bird of all jewellers, the peacock, was also a common theme across designs. Either the entire bird or just the feathers were represented in various pieces, usually studded with brilliant sapphires and emeralds to recreate the peacock’s colours. The peacock feather earrings by Entice were truly drool-worthy. The collection by Payal Singhal for Sangini by Gitajanli was inspired by deserts, and the pieces were as fine as sand, with just diamonds used for sparkle.

Indian influence

It wasn’t just royalty and the Mughal dynasty that had designers hooked this season, but all things Indian. Some designs were truly traditional with polki diamonds and lots of gold making an impression like the beautiful polki necklace with a tassled pendant worn by Sonam Kapoor for the Grand Finale. The maang tikka created by PC Jewellers Ltd was attached using two strands of bejewelled gold rather than the usual single strand, forming a lovely headpiece reminiscent of ages past. The necklaces by Kriplani and Sons for D. Navinchandra exports were also a tribute to the queens of royal families of the past.

Some designers took inspiration from the present, like Nishka Lulla’s collection for Asmi called ‘The Kumbh’. Gold jhumkas, earrings looped over the ears and traditional pieces were meant to represent all the colour and flavour of the festival.

Alternates to diamonds

While every showstopper emphatically stated that diamonds were a girl’s best friend, designers seemed to think otherwise. The jewels this season showcased pearls and coloured stones in a grand way. Large emeralds formed the central stones in many necklaces while ruby earrings dotted the ears of most models. Sapphires were the next favourite, and their blue beauty shadowed the sparkle of the diamonds placed around them. Designer Taksh Pahuja, known for his creative designs also agreed that colour was in trend this season.

Pearls were also seen in many collections, either in strands as necklaces of hanging prettily from earrings. The collection by Jewels Emporium, a brand that was born in 1841 featured lovely pearl necklaces and mother-of-pearl detailing as well. The Modern Collection by Saboo Fine Jewels used natural Basra pearls with rubies in some necklaces too. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and pick up a nice pearl necklace soon!

Collars and cuffs

In terms of style, last year’s navel-graving necklaces seem out while chokers and collar pieces were preferred by designers and buyers alike. Multi-stranded necklaces with the studded embellishment placed slightly off the centre are also in vogue. Large pendants with hanging pearls or diamonds, sometimes doubling as maang tikkas were also spotted. Stud earrings are definitely out, and multi-tassled drop earrings that almost reach the shoulder are a must-have. Ditch the usual diamond bangles for elaborate cuffs. These large beauties graced the wrist of every model and came in a variety of widths. Make sure that the cuff has a central attachment in a nature-inspired design to add colour and bling.

Just one dramatic piece will do, like a dazzling head-piece from Amrapali’s collection.

In its third year, IIJW has made an impact on the world of jewellery by bringing Indian designers, both old and new to the forefront. Saumya Khurana, Director of Kays Jewels added that it facilitates international exposure too.

(This article was published on August 28, 2012)
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