Lara Morakhia: An Artist At Heart
Sometimes, it is all about exploring a facet of your personality that can be a turning point in one’s life. LARA MORAKHIA, a doctor-turned-jewellery designer, had always been passionate about collecting heritage art, design, paintings, textiles and jewellery. When a trekking accident laid her low for many months, the doctor decided to keep herself busy by creating some pieces of jewellery, since art was embedded in her being. All she did was express her hitherto dormant talent waiting to be discovered. A couple of collections and viewings later at Bungalow 8, there was no looking back. In line with her vision, Lara has launched her SS’18 collection inspired primarily by the temples and other architectural marvels in India. Her brand Lara M was born earlier this year. The exotic collection features stunning antique silver kadas teamed with leather and set with pearls, edgy geometric rings accented with gold beads, and statement jadau earrings in villandis, pearls and coloured stones.
How old is your brand, and what made you turn to jewellery designing?
My brand Lara M was launched in February 2018. I have been passionate about jewellery and creating wearable art pieces, so the need to showcase these led to designing.
Did you take up any jewellery courses?
I am self-taught and have never taken up any jewellery course.
I made ear tops in silver set with polki diamonds carved in gold and then a large antique silver comb pendant set with gold jadau, pearls and antique gold carved beads.
Silver seems to be your preferred metal. Do you work with other metals as well? Your collections appear to be an amalgamation of various styles, including jadtar, kundan, mother-of-pearl along with a variety of materials like Batik bone, leather and beads.
Yes. Gold, silver, Batik bone, tusk, wood, porcupine quills, jadau craft is what I usually use.
Could you also tell us a little more about Batik bone?
Batik originally means to apply the pattern to cloth; the process was adopted by African tribes to apply stunning, contrasting designs to beads and accessories – often symbolic of regal or higher social status.
The intrinsic colours of these African Batik beads are brown and white, with a bold design such as the eye design Batik bone beads, which I have used in my jewellery. Batik dyes are generally developed using natural resources such as tree bark, sap and plant extract.
We would like to know the DNA of your brand.
The DNA or philosophy of my brand is to use antique material – vintage silver and gold – to make unique jewellery with a contemporary slant. Since I do not mass manufacture, these ‘individualistic’ and artistic pieces are best suited for a person who wishes to stand out or be a showstopper.
My design philosophy comes from a kaleidoscope that has a different design and view every time you look into it. Similarly, I reinvent the old traditional jewellery into a new concept in every single one-of-a-kind piece I create to fuse the old with the new.
What generally inspires you to create thematic lines?
Travel, museum visits, art, architecture, royal costumes, and old family portraits – the sources are limitless. I pick cues from nature and with an intuitive approach start visualising the nished pieces. A strong inclination towards Indian heritage art and design helps us create pieces that become a statement in themselves.
What is your next jewellery collection about?
My next line is called Zahra, meaning beautiful, bright, or beauty in Arabic— everything this collection aims to re ect. Vintage silver, gold and antique jewellery collectibles are re-imagined with the use of polki and semi-precious stones and are carved in gold and turned into wearable art, which one can wear with ethnic, Western or Indo-Western styles.
One jewellery piece that is closest to your heart.
My grandfather’s gold and enamelled pocket watch inscribed with HRH (His Royal Highness. Though it does not work, I cherish it, as it’s a conduit between generations.
How long does it take to craft a collection since all your products are handmade?
Around three to four months, as a lot of detail goes into each piece and all are different so it’s a very creative and lengthy process.
What’s the general price range of your pieces?
It starts from H22,000 for the silver range, and my ne, pure line which employs gold and jadau, starts from H36,000.
Who is your target customer?
It could be anyone who appreciates art and the creative process behind it that can be seen in every individual piece that the brand makes; one who has an eye for wearing a unique and statement jewel; and someone who thinks beyond a break-up value of gold and silver and is willing to pay for creativity.
Large dome-shaped ring featuring jadau motifs set with villandi and pearls.
Antique silver kada set with nakshi jadau and villandi with gold and pearl beads. Peacock earrings in vintage silver studded with gold motifs of leaf design set with villandi jadau tied in pearls.
The Paradise necklace features a bird in carved bone with vintage silver, gold jadau, pearls strung necklace.
African bead kada set with vintage and antique silver with gold and villandi pieces set with pearls.
Antique kada with navratna jadtar and pearls.
Sunburst earrings set with vintage silver and old gold beads and pearls.