Lara Mo­rakhia: An Artist At Heart

Adorn - - CONTENTS - By Shanoo Bi­jlani

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.

made.

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.

LARA MO­RAKHIA

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.

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