Indian designs sparkled at jewellery week

By Shilpa Raina, Mumbai, Aug 20 : Unlike apparel fashion weeks where designers take inspiration from the West, designers at the inaugural India International Jewellery Week (IIJW) showcased jewellery that had distinctive features from across India.

The five-day extravaganza that concluded Thursday had a glittering cocktail of diamonds, white gold, precious stones, polki, meenakari, coloured stones and intricate mix of designs, creativity and innovation.

Though Mumbai-based jewellery designers dominated the event, there were a few from Jaipur, Bangalore, Kolkata, Junagadh in Gujarat, Indore, Kanpur, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon as well.

The designers felt a platform such as this was “better late than never”.

Mumbai-based designer Laksh Pahuja, who mesmerised the audience with his innovative designs, including a Hawa Mahal bajubandh (armlet), a diamond-studded gold jooti, a necklace with 10 heads of Ravan, a pink dolphin inspired interesting piece, said he should have got this platform 10 years earlier.

“I believe I am god-gifted. The amount of hard work and research I put in my designs and pieces should have been recognised 10 years back. But it is better late than never,” Pahuja said.

Thirty designers from all over India participated in the country’s first-ever jewellery show that was aimed at giving them a platform and make the “Made In India” brand globally popular.

“Be it retailers or consumers, they don’t like the ‘Made in India’ tag when it comes to jewellery. Through this event, we wanted to change this perception. We believe we have succeeded in doing the same,” Vasant Mehta, chairperson of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC) that hosted the event, told IANS.

The council is supported by the commerce and industry ministry.

An investment of around Rs.15 crore went into the entire event. This took care of the basic facilities and arrangements as designers had to pay for their shows and slots, according to Mehta.

“We brought around 50 international delegates from the international media to cover the event,” Mehta said.

For this first-of-a-kind fashion event, choreographers too had to think differently to ensure that the focus was on jewellery and not on clothes. The models had to apply minimalist make-up, wear subdued hues and have the right expression.

Elric D’souza, Achala Sachdev and Lubna Adams had choreographed the shows.

It was more of a business-to-consumer event as GJEPC has been organising a business-to-business jewellery exhibition – India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) – for 27 years in Mumbai.

The IIJS, a five-day event, kickstarted here Thursday and will conclude Aug 23.

Thailand-based Chanpen Vorakittiwong, director of sales and marketing of jewellery company, Hoover International, said attending the IIJW and the IIJS helped them enter the Indian markets and gave them the opportunity to meet retailers and designers.

“India is a very potential market for us and we are looking at the opportunity to enter the market here. These events will give an idea about how to go ahead with it,” Vorakittiwong said.

The event was definitely extravagant but not without a few glitches.

In terms of organising, a lot of things went awry like the seating arrangements in the main show area where there was chaos and confusion as the seats were not marked and the influx of guests was much more than the seating capacity.

Also, five days for a jewellery show seemed to be very long. May be the next time the organisers should cut down on show timings and make it a three-day event. Also they can make it a business event by combining the IIJW and IIJS.

Considering it was their first lifestyle event, one just hopes that future events are better organised.

The event boasted of designers like Farah Khan Ali, Varun D. Jani, Bina Goenka, Rhea Nasta and well-known jewellery brands like Mirari, Gitanjali, Amrapali, Tanishq and Ganjam.

Bollywood too made its presence felt as actresses like Deepika Padukone, Konkona Sen Sharma, Sonakshi Sinha, Mugdha Godse, Ayesha Takia, Sharmila Tagore and Isha Koppikar walked the ramp.

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