Pallavi Foley’s Take On Jewellery Trends
PALLAVI FOLEY, celebrity jewellery designer, in an exclusive interview highlights the current jewellery trends, the rising popularity of body ornaments and the fast- changing tastes of consumers. Pallavi, who is acknowledged as India’s Elsa Peretti ( of Tiffany fame) by the World Gold Council, is known for her biomorphic and sculptural designs in gold and silver. The awardwinning designer takes cues from nature, life, emotions, and other abstract concepts and interlaces a story around the pieces. Her collections are luxurious and have an unexpected element of incredulity. The avant- garde designer offers jewellery styling tips for today’s confident woman.
How have jewellery trends changed in the last one or two years?
I am an ardent believer that it is art that draws a person to a piece of jewellery. The connection that is formed between a piece of jewellery and the onlooker is similar to the connection which is found between lovers. It is at first sight that people walking down a street or a mall fall in love with the piece of jewellery, that they would have stopped to see in a window display of a jewellery store. Trends in jewellery have changed very seriously in this past year – there is a shift towards more meaningful jewels.
The seriousness in design, art and the craft of jewellery-making is the big swing that has taken the industry by surprise. Some jewellery brands are coping with it, while others are drowning.
There is a change in the mindset of customers today, as they are now looking at design first. The emotive elements in design are the number one reason to select a piece of jewellery.
The questions in the mind of the customer have changed and they are somewhat like this… ‘Is this me?’, ‘Do I believe in it?’, ‘Does it enhance/express my persona?’
Modular jewellery is a big trend, as versatility in a piece of jewellery only
increases its wearbility, and the value a person can get from a piece of jewellery is manifold. Historical connections in jewellery often tend to arouse desire for jewels.
The idea of well-being for everyone is inspiring us all, and the translation of this in jewellery is seen beautifully.
I think the trends are changing to adapt for a better world and I can’t express how happy I am to see it.
Are people opting for statement necklaces or do they prefer statement earrings?
People are opting for statement necklaces now. My latest collection includes statement pieces and I believe that one must wear jewellery which adds a wow factor to one’s look. Striking neckpieces work well with off-shoulder or tube dresses, while designer earrings can be paired with almost any attire.
Design concept is the key factor in this space. So if one is looking at standing out and making a strong statement, then one has to pay attention to what the design is speaking.
Are people opting for organic or geometric designs?
‘Everything you can imagine is real’, said artist Pablo Picasso. My imagination is my biggest design resource and I am fearless when I design.
I let my mind wander. I find my inspiration everywhere, in my love for travel, in my vivid visualisation of what I read, in movies, in paintings, in my daughter’s constant chitterchatter and her singing.
So as a designer, I keep myself open to ideas and experiences and it is not about geometric or organic, it’s about being true to the inspiration and my expression.
As an artist, it is upon me to create beauty in a jewel, to bring the best through our Indian crafts.
Jewellery in any form, if artistically designed, well detailed, thought-out, and crafted with care, is always a delight.
My latest collection Flame of The Forest is an aesthetic combination of glamour, beauty, nature and romanticism. As its name suggests, it is inspired by Bangalore’s most loved sight – the flame of the forest blossoms. It is organic and handmade by one of India’s most talented craftsmen, whereas I have taken a combination of the organic and the geometric styling in my new collection called Angels. Each angel is inspired by Archangels who are believed to watch over us and guide us. The body of the angel is organic and realistic, while the wings are geometric and in a step-like orientation, representing strength.
How experimental are people when it comes to jewellery? Are women opening up to innovative body ornaments?
Yes, they are. In the Flame of the Forest, out of the 40 ensembles, I did 10 body pieces, and they were the first to sell. Body jewels can add versatility to ensembles.
From a designer’s point of view, incorporating technical innovation to the product makes it versatile and more wearable. As a designer, I always feel that I must add flexibility for the customer to wear the piece on multiple occasions, and one has to simplify the wearability. There is no major mechanism in it, you can just turn it around and it can be worn in different ways, it always adds value for a woman. It’s great if it’s versatile and can be worn in different ways. Jewellery should be comfortable when worn; it should be you.
What are the few tips one should keep in mind before purchasing a piece of jewellery?
‘Is that piece you and why?’; the craft and the art employed in the piece; and the design.
What according to you will dominate the jewellery scene in the coming months?
Sculptural jewels; handmade jewellery, and meaningful jewels – jewels that connect with you more than just aesthetics.
Statement pieces which express who you are and resonate your fashion mantra.
Bringing your inner self out to the external world, is what fashion and design can do for people, so I would say let your jewellery do the talking for you.
Sculptural 3D jewels will find favour. The concept of three-dimensionality comes to me from my childhood. My father is a builder and I have spent many, many hours playing
hide and seek, in buildings that were still under construction. From the foundation of the building to the columns, to walls on the inside that define space, to doors and windows that create the perception of inside and the outside of homes, I have seen them emerge and being built slowly. The concept of three-dimensionality is almost a part of my DNA. I see most patterns, even the most traditional Indian motifs, in 3D. I feel that three-dimensionality adds a sculptural tone to the jewels.
Ultimately, jewellery should be anything but boring.
If you could play stylist for a day, how would you accessorise a plain black dress for a party?
A black dress is a great pick for a party. It holds in it the power to transform your look, by totally customising it to express your personal style.
The ideal way to accessorise an LBD is to dress it up unconventionally. The kind of jewels you pick can change your look completely.
Wear a singular necklace with it, if the neckline allows and also if you want to make a big statement that’s loud and clear.
Pendants look great with V-shaped necklines, since they tend to echo the V-neck and it’s a great way of keeping it simple. A brooch pin is a very classy option. I recently teamed my LBD with a piece from my navratna line of earrings, called Mallika. The piece is inspired from the jewels that my great-grandmother, an ardent fan of jewellery as a craft, got customised at home in Amritsar.
How would you dress up Indo-Western attire for a festive occasion?
Adding a nath or a maang tika can glam up your look, while allowing you to keep true to traditions.
How important is it to cultivate an aesthetic ability?
I was always fascinated by art and how it could transform anything. I have spent most of my life sketching. I urge people to bring art into everything they do and never underestimate the power art has to transform your life.
Flame of the Forest stick earrings and windswept necklace.
The earrings are inspired by a bunch of sprouting, but inverted mushrooms to exaggerate the raw-linear continuous textures seen on the underside. Uncut diamonds add to the beauty of the piece.
Leafy gold ring centred on a golden pearl.
Flame of the Forest gold earrings with pearl drops.
Flame of the Forest body ornament.
A statement Flame of the Forest neckpiece.
Stick earrings from the Flame of the Forest collection.
Organic ear cuffs from the Flame of the Forest line. (Facing page) Inspired by five unique archangels, this collection of handcrafted pendants makes you feel the magic, as they bring light into your life.