By Meher Castelino
In an interview to another publication a while ago, Bibhu Mohapatra answered to the question ‘If not a designer?” by replying ‘Architect”. So it did surprise me when the premium diamond jewelry brand Forevermark, unveiled their Artemis™ collection created by the famous couturier Bibhu. A lineof 54 delicate pieces of diamond jewelry, bangles, pendants, earrings, rings, brooches et al, designed painstaking over 18 months. Without a doubt, the creativity of the man who started out with a Masters in economics was sans boundaries.
Perhaps this claim by the De Beers diamond brand Forevermark that ‘less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to be Forevermark’, resonates with BibhuMohapatra, thus making the partnership with the diamond brand perfect.
BibhuMohapatra has answered some question here for the readers of The Luxury Chronicle.
As a fashion designer, you are at the pinnacle with the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) wearing your label. Is this the peak that you strived to achieve?
To quote Frost, “Miles to go before I sleep” Dressing the FLOTUS was definitely a high point of my career, and I greatly appreciate it, but there are still a lot to build on my brand.
This is something I have always dreamt of as a part of my brand extension. so when the opportunity arose with Forevermark India, it seemed like a natural progression. I really enjoy designing jewelry.
How much were you really involved in the actual designing process, beyond the drawing board?
From the very beginning I was involved in the process. The concept stage to the design of Artemis collection, I had a lot of support from the Forevermark team in all the technical design details.
What was your inspiration? And who is your muse?
The inspiration: The sun, moon and the stars play a powerful role in our lives, our loves and all creation. For over 5000 years Vedic Astrology has provided a method of understanding of the compatibility of couples. Inspired by romantic history of Vedic Astrology and the passionate words of E.E. Cummings, I combined the gestures of the Sun, Moon and the stars, to create Artemis, a romantic line of jewelry that brilliantly comes life in Forevermark diamonds.
The Muse: The modern global woman who is well exposed, well-travelled and someone who loves beautifully crafted fine jewelry
Were you given a brief before designing the jewelry by Forevermark?
I had a lot of discussion with the Forevermark team about the target audience, price points, marketing strategy and manufacturing details before the design process started.
The choice of the name of a Greek God Artemis – was that name your pick or of the Forever Mark Diamond company’s?
Artemis was one of the five names I had thought of and had suggested. Besides being the Greek goddess of moon, the name has several meanings for the constellation in different cultures
What were the challenges when designing the Artemis collection?
I learnt a lot about the technical side of making fine jewelry with diamonds.
How important is jewelry for your garments?
Jewelry is very important for anyone to finish any look with any clothes. It is an essential element of dressing.
Will you be designing more collections for the Forevermark brand in future?
I strongly believe this is the first step of a very long beautiful journey with Forevermark. Artemis will evolve.
The jewelry you have designed is very subtle and discreet compared to your garments. Any particular reason?
I believe that the Artemis is for a broader audience so it has a broader aesthetic range and broad price range, making it more approachable to many.
With your roots in Rourkela, do you think you have travelled far, and I don’t mean just the physical distance to New York?
I may have travelled to the other side of the globe, but my roots are still firmly planted in my birthplace.
You keep using Odisha and India as a reference point from time to time for your creative endeavors. Is that deliberate?
I believe my heritage runs in my veins and it is natural.
You have been designing for women, whether clothes or now jewelry. Why only women?
I look forward to changing that very soon, hopefully.
This is two part question. What is you most luxurious possession? And your most luxurious moment?
My memories are my most luxurious possession. They will always be. My most luxurious moment is when my mother knit me a beautiful black sweater. I have very warm and fond memories of that.