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 body or­na­ment.

A state­ment Flame of the For­est neck­piece.

Stick ear­rings from the Flame of the For­est col­lec­tion.

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 stick ear­rings and windswept necklace.

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.

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