By Meher Castelino
When the high priestess of fashion, Coco Chanel, advised, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory,” clearly she hadn’t seen these to-die-for statement pieces by five accessory designers who caused a sensation with their collections, at the Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014. Pushing the limits of design, these high-on-creativity pieces morph as an extension to the apparel, transforming the ordinary into exotica.
Making her debut at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014 with her label “Social Butterfly”, Laila Singh’s collection “Flight of Fancy” was inspired by feathers and peacock plumage. Her line of chains, earrings, cuffs, neckpieces, statement rings and bracelets created in mesh, geometric shapes with semi-precious stones had bold hues like black, blood red, gold, sea green and shimmering bronze. Adding to the unconventional nature of her jewellery, were palm bracelets, forearm bands and ear shields. There was a certain degree of experimental touches in her jewellery as Laila explains, “The collection draws inspiration from the astonishing beauty of the Indian peacock and its enchanting plumage that is classic and bold. At the same time the jewellery’s interesting contradiction is at the heart of the collection.” Laila started “Social Butterfly” in 2010 after completing her studies in international business at Bartley University, Boston, followed by a course in fashion at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Her label “Social Butterfly” has been shown in India, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Aspen and Dubai.
Mrinalini Chandra has always picked subjects that have raised many eyebrows. Last season it was chairs and thrones in all shapes and sizes that were turned into jewellery that caused a stir on the ramp. This time the collection was titled “Shakuntala” the mythical lady to whom it was dedicated. Bringing in forms like flowers, leaves, insects, monkeys and fish, which were part of Shakuntala’s life, Mrinalini added the expertise of craftsmen from Orissa for filigree, Lucknow for Nakkashi and Maharashtra for enamelling. Maximum size was the key note of the collection as giant leaves were turned into necklaces, palm gloves were in the shape of huge leaves, silver discs and pearls cascaded into necklaces all the way down to the hips and a delicate fish linked gold shawl was draped over a shoulder. Earrings were large and imposing, while bangles covered the wrists. It was couture jewellery of the highest order. Mrinalini’s work is often described as whimsical artworks reflecting traditional brilliance combined with modern aesthetics. “The collection is a caravan of all Shakuntala’s memoirs and knowhow through the forest as she waits for her abiding love. It is actually a verse rendered splendidly into handcrafted couture jewellery,” says Mrinalini.
This was Shubhika Davda’s second showing at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014 with her label “Papa don’t Preach” which was started in 2010. Last season her collection called “ROAR” created excitement on the ramp. There was a touch of rebellious vibrant use of colours and exciting techniques that can be seen in the accessories. This time it was “Frozen” that took the audience on a wild Arctic journey where jewellery, accessories, garments and footwear were magical on the catwalk. Using only frosty blue, silver and lilac hues, Shubhika studded her accessories and garments with beaded and sheeted mirrors, coins, crystalized sparkles and suede. Back packs were attached to high waist belts, Acrylic suitcases had flowers as décor and the Snow Globes as shoes had snowflakes whirling in them. To match these there were frock jackets, trench coats, dresses and tulle capes that glittered with mirrors. “The cosmos has the genus of simplicity but I revel in ingeniously manufactured complexity,” explains Shubhika.
One of India’s most artistic and avant garde jewellery designers, Suhani Pittie has been a regular at Lakmé Fashion Week for several years. Selected by World Gold Council as one of the World’s 10 Most Inventive and Ingenious Designers Suhani a graduate from GIA, USA started her own training institute at 20, has showcased jewellery before Prince Charles and royal family and has been commissioned by the Museum of Arts and Designs, New York.
Her collection “Found and Lost” was inspired by love that needs to be treasured and valued. Necklaces, belts, buckles, hairpins, ear buttons, ear cuffs, palm cuffs, harnesses as well as shoulder cuffs held the viewers spellbound. Working with German silver, plated brass, copper, acrylic and pearls, Suhani added bracelets and rings as well as cuffs for the arms, wrist, and palms. Several intricate jewellery techniques like Minakari, lace work, folding, pressing, shredding, curling levelling and extrusion along with Indian Repousse were used to create the grand pieces. Giant roses were linked for bracelets and neckpieces, sprays of leaves were interconnected for necklaces. Minakari suspender-necklace, folded detachable necklace, shredded metal cuffs and pressed metal gloves were amazing in design. “It is a collection that is bold and daring for a woman who wants to make a strong fashion statement,” informs Suhani.
Kaabia And Sasha Grewal
Started in 2011 the “Outhouse” label has been shown at Lakmé Fashion Week for several seasons and has an international base with followers like Sienna Miller. This time “Outhouse’s” designer sisters, Kaabia and Sasha Grewal presented “The Column” a majestic line of opulent jewellery inspired by the beautiful art of Greece and Rome. With gold as the focal point, the metal was draped like liquid silk or moulded into amazing shapes.
Adding to the beauty of the jewellery were semi-precious stones like amber, turquoise, pearls, garnets and lapis lazuli. The design elements moved away from the mundane. Maang tikkas looked like eye-catching Mohawk like designs that rose upwards. Earrings appeared like giant star bursts. Chokers were large and arresting in design. Harnesses made a regular appearance, ranging from belt-cum-shoulder or body options. Cross body belts, spiked neckpieces and even facial décor was part of the collection. Armlets made great fashion statements while tassels and leather added to the opulence of the jewellery. “We believe in representing contemporary Indian jewellery. We created the magnetism of mythical goddesses with what we call “Outhouse’s” colossal winter of gold,” state Kaabia and Sasha.