Jewellery now part of mainstream fashion?

Statement making haute joaillerie has entered the mainstream fashion industry in a big way - and the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week (Summer/Resort) 2011 is ample proof of this.
: Roli Gupta
06 April 2011 4:48 PM
Reference: 2034

Jewellery designers like Eina Ahluwalia, Lina Tipnis, Suhani Pittie, Malini Agarwala, et al showed off some exclusive, cutting edge jewellery at the Lakme Fashion Week. Where earlier the accessories focus was limited to say the least, this time the excitement about jewellery was unmistakable. While globally jewellery is a recognisable and important part of fashion, in India it is generally perceived more as a good investment option. Things are changing now - an increased presence and participation from jewellery designers seems to be paving the way for jewellery design and jewellery in general to enter the realm of haute couture in India too. Speaking about this shift in attitude, jewellery designer Eina Ahluwalia, whose jewellery is akin to objects of art, says, “The increased focus on jewellery at the LFW definitely indicates that far from being just an accessory, it is now becoming the main statement around which the entire ensemble is planned. The days of wearing the same pair of ear rings for months on end have made way for jewellery that matches the occasion, look and mood. The new, educated and independent young Indian woman no longer wants to be confined to wearing traditional jewellery, or “locker jewellery”. She wants jewellery to complement her lifestyle and hence looks beyond investment and cartage. Design, detail and the sensibility that each piece conveys becomes more important. Simple and elegant pieces for work, statement neckpieces and cocktail rings for social dos, beaded strings for beachside holidays and international, stylish jewellery for sojourns abroad are on her mind. There are a small but growing number of women who have redefined jewellery beyond ornamentation to self expression and are exploring conceptual art jewellery that is beginning to now show up in India.“ Agrees Lina Tipnis, who is also a well-known fashion designer - “The Indian customer is one of the smartest in the world, she is discerning and capable of distinguishing fine jewellery from the riff-raff. The LFW’s focus on jewellery is indicative of the consumer’s need for being well accessorized to do justice to a beautiful ensemble. Besides, the Indian customer has a varied requirement – from saris and other traditional attire to cocktail gowns and dresses. Designs vary from jhumkis, balis, chandelier earrings in rose cut diamonds to precious and semi- precious stones to basra or south sea pearls. There are definitely more occasions to wear modern jewellery on a day to day basis and mix and match traditional jewellery with modern style dresses.” Fashion weeks such as the LFW are a reflection of fashion, couture and trends and of course customer mindsets. Runway shows communicate and present entire collections whether it is of apparel or accessories to the target audience – stores, international buyers and the media – the fashion weeks then become a definitive guide to what’s hot and what’s not (to use a well worn cliché) for the fashion industry. As the jewellery design aesthetic sees a definite shift from jewellery as an investment to jewellery as an extremely important part of the ensemble for the wearer, the strong presence of jewellery in a mainstream fashion event certainly bodes well for the jewellery industry...

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