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Luxemi Talks To Jewelry Designer Mrinalini Chandra

Lisa Haydon wearing a Mrinalini Chandra necklace for Vogue India

Lisa Haydon wearing a Mrinalini Chandra necklace for Vogue India

Jewelry designer Mrinalini Chandra — one of the most coveted names in the industry today — clearly has an affinity for all things whimsical. She has, after all, turned chairs into bejewelled adornments and fishes into ornamental shawls. With ‘endless love, laughter and happily ever after’ as her mantra, Chandra has taken it upon herself to give fashion jewelry a couture update with dollops of handcrafted finesse. Her pieces are a perfect marriage of complementary contradictions — old-school yet modern, vintage yet eclectic, trendy yet timeless. What’s more, her army of patrons include the who’s who of fashion favourites like Sonam Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Asin, Jacqueline Fernandez, Kalki Koechlin, Karisma Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and more.

Mrinalini Chandra

Tell us about your foray into jewellery design and about the launch of the brand.

Like many young girls, accessories always held a special place in my wardrobe but it was only much later that I realized that it was my professional calling. The more time I spent learning about the delicate nature of jewelry during college (editor’s note: she received her masters from the Creative Academy, Milan and Fashion and Lifestyle Accessory Design degree from NIFT, New Delhi), its profound relationship with the wearer drew me to explore this particular art form further. I honed my skills at Tanishq and Mont Blanc before officially launching my label at Lakme Summer Resort 2014.

Mrinalini Chandra at LFW SR 2014

Mrinalini Chandra at LFW SR 2014

Your brand is well known for giving the Indian aesthetic a modern twist. Tell us more about the thoughts and ideas behind your various collections. 

Creating aspirational wearable art has always my ultimate dream and Indian handicraft techniques and textiles have always inspired me. It was perhaps this love for delicate and intricate handcrafted artworks that made me pick a field that allows me to indulge in the same. I am very hands-on with my work. I think of myself as more of an artisan — I like to sit with the metal and create new things using my bare hands. Truth be told, there’s nothing quite as fulfilling.

Mrinalini Chandra

What are your key inspirations?

I draw inspiration from everything around me. Variety inspires me. It’s the love for experimenting with design that leads me to create dynamic forms while keeping the beauty of the pattern intact. There is scope for so many new things and that challenges me to experiment and take risks in terms of material, forms, craft, techniques etc. Since I love traveling, I often take several cues from art and architecture too. Nature, of course, has been a ubiquitous influence across my collections.

What are the top trends and must-have jewellery pieces this season?

Mrinalini Chandra

Palm cuffs, hath phools and hair accessories are reigning trends at the moment. For someone who likes to go that extra mile with their jewelry, our unique introductions like metal scarves composed of a fish motif, arm spring, elbow cuffs, fingertip rings, gajra hair pins and maathapattis should be go-tos.

Which pieces dominate your personal jewellery box? Tell us about your go-to pieces.

Mrinalini Chandra

Mrinalini Chandra wearing her own creations

My personal jewellery box is dominated by statement earrings and glass bangles. I also love tribal finds and a lot of my personal jewelry pieces have been acquired during my various travels around the globe. I believe in allowing one accessory to dominate my look and avoid unnecessary clutter.

Do you have an advice on the right way to accessorize?

It is quite interesting to see people accessorize in unexpected ways today. Experimentation is essential and the wearer must always style the accessory in a manner that stays true to their aesthetic. After all, it’s this individual touch that gives jewelry life. I sometimes see people falter when picking the right jewelry for an outfit — the key is that the two should complement each other but never clash and fight for the limelight. A lot of thought needs to be put into this, particularly if you wish to go OTT. Balance is everything.

Which are your favorite pieces from Luxemi’s collection?

I absolutely love the glass kundan earrings available on Luxemi — they promise to give any Indian outfit such an interesting facelift!

Mrinalini Chandra

 

Mrinalini Chandra

What do you think of Mrinalini Chandra’s creations? Tell us in the comment box below! 

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Filed under Celebrity Style, Designer Style, Indian-Inspired, Killer Accessories, Luxemi Style, Runway Shows, Trend Alert, Trend Update, Uncategorized

5 Indian Accessory Designers To Watch Out For

Indian accessory desingers

Image: Outhouse

An Indian’s love affair with bling is a well-known fact. We do, after all, take our jewelry very seriously. But lets face it, that bridal polki set or heavy solitaire necklace isn’t going to cut it at all the time. Nor is high street junk. Hence a burgeoning army of accessory designers have cropped up to cater to those in-between requirements. Considering the bauble heads that we are, we’re always scouting for ace accessory designers to add to our ever-growing collection. So after rounding up five fashion designers to watch out for, we bring you the five accessory labels we are totally crushing on right this minute.

 Outhouse

Indian accessory desingers

Launched by sisters Kaabia and Sasha Grewal in October 2011, Outhouse has quickly become an accessory label du jour, a tour de force to reckon with. A fusion of contemporary styles and rich craftsmanship, their pieces are known for their bold and avant garde lendings. If you’re looking to make a head turning statement, then your search for the most fitting baubles ends here. Thanks to the fierce loyalists they have gained along the way, the brand is opening their flagship store in Delhi soon.

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Neha Dhupia, Shraddha Kapoor and Deepika Padukone

 Mrinalini Chandra

Indian accessory desingers

Mumbai-based designer Mrinalini Chandra’s pieces are an ode to the rich culture and poetic verses of India, though she always gives her traditional inspiration a quirky, contemporary relevance. Cases in point are her collections featuring funky chair and fish motifs, but preserved with a desi spin. Chandra believes that her creations are an eclectic range of whimsical, slightly modern yet slightly ancient, stuck in-time-designs!

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Sonam Kapoor, Esha Gupta, Kalki Koechlin, Karisma Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez

Eina Ahluwalia

Indian accessory desingers

Touted as India’s first conceptual jewelry artist, Eina Ahluwalia’s label called ‘Breathing Space’ boasts of pieces inspired by life and aim to take the wearer on journeys within themselves and through time. The designer resorts to handmade fretwork, which makes her creations intricate and detailed. She doesn’t refrain from making bold statements either—hence you will find references to religion, scriptures, messages of kindness, respect and love and shout-outs against social issues.

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez, Deepika Padukone, Chitrangada Singh, Sonam Kapoor and Sona Mohapatra

Suhani Pittie

Indian accessory desingers

To say that Hyderabad-based Suhani Pittie’s hand crafted baubles are extremely sought after would be an understatement. Her collections bring forth her fascination with ancient lore and traditional arts but she treats this inspiration with a bohemian sensibility. Sonam Kapoor can easily be touted as the poster girl for Suhani Pittie jewelry. Her partiality for the designer’s edgy and offbeat creations is easy to spot with one look at her repertoire. Also, here’s a fun fact: Pittie is couture maestro Anamika Khanna’s sister. Creativity, it seems, runs in the family!

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Esha Gupta, Vidya Balan, Parineeti Chorpa and Masaba Gupta

Valliyan by Nitya Arora

Indian accessory desingers

A jewelry brand strictly catering to hedonists, designer Nitya Arora believes that her creations are esoteric and niche. Think pop-hued handcrafted accessories with a vintage vibe but topped off with a New York edge. They are all about making an unabashed, bold and unadulterated statement. Case in point: the warning sign on the brand’s site that reads, “WARNING! While using our products you may find people, known to you or otherwise staring at your ears neck or wrist.”

Indian accessory desingers

Celebrity Patrons: Shraddha Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Nimrat Kaur, Kajol, Sonakshi Sinha, Deepika Padukone and Aditi Rao Hydari

 Got a favorite from these designers? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Filed under Celebrity Style, Designer Radar, Designer Style, Indian-Inspired, Killer Accessories, Luxemi Style, Trend Alert, Trend Update