Tag Archives: indian accessory designers

Luxemi Talks To Conceptual Jewelry Designer Eina Ahluwalia

eina ahluwalia interview

How many people do you know who think, “I don’t want to wake up at 65, be super successful, but have lived a meaningless life. I want to do something I love and live the quality of life I’ve always wanted,” and actually go through with it? Conceptual jewelry designer Eina Ahluwalia did. The designer whose pieces are best known for having meaning and messages, gave up her high flying corporate job after four years to pursue her passion for silver and jewelry, even though she had no previous experience designing jewelry before! “I just knew I wanted to work on designs that would not let me sleep at night!” Kolkata-based Ahluwalia tells us.

The designer du jour takes us on a tour of her beginnings, her key inspirations, the baubles she loves to wear and more!

eina ahluwalia interview

Celebrities wearing Eina Ahluwalia

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

I set up my label in January 2003 focusing on contemporary silver jewelry made by world famous master craftsmen in Bengal. From 2006 for about two and a half years, I worked as a consultant for a jewelry export company, looking after their design and international marketing. I learned the production process, and traveled to jewelry fairs across the world while with them.

After two and a half years I began questioning the motive of my jewelry and fulfilling just the need for ornamentation was beginning to seem a bit hollow and shallow to me. My search led me to discover conceptual art jewelry and it felt like coming home. Conceptual jewelry is where the concept or the idea is most important, and the jewelry is just a way to tell the story. This kind of jewelry is worn for self-expression rather than ornamentation. It is worn to communicate the wearer’s thoughts, ideologies and even sense of humour.

In 2010 I was selected for a workshop with pioneering conceptual jewelry artist Ruudt Peters in Holland, and I spent a week with him and 14 other jewelers from across the world. The experience was magical. In 2011 I went to Alchimia: Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence for a two-month long intensive training in experimental techniques and material.

So now my work is an amalgamation of my explorations of life as an inspiration and experiments on the workbench, combined with the amazing craftsmanship we have here in India.

eina ahluwalia interview

Always,Always,Always Be Kind Necklace

What are your key inspirations?

My inspiration is most often life and my interaction with it. Is the life around us real or the one we live in our head? Perspectives—from my eyes and yours, and the space in between. The Self—am I the body or the soul? The breath that defines one magical moment that I have in which to create my world. Travel, books, music, art and architecture inspire me. Ordinary people who show extraordinary empathy, kindness, strength and courage inspire me. My jewelry is pure personal expression. The more I grow as a person, the more I have to share through my jewelry. On the other hand, the more you grow as a person, the less you need to say. So my jewelry continues to evolve at this intersection of art, thought and self-expression.

What are the must-have jewelry pieces this season?

The single earring, mismatched proportions, brave big pendants, small vintage earrings, pearls and flowers are top international trends. However, I don’t personally like following trends. I just feel one should wear whatever makes one feel good.

eina ahluwalia interview

Lakshmi earrings

What is your personal jewelry style? Which are your go-to pieces?

My go-to pieces are jewelry that I personally connect with, either symbolically or sentimentally. My jewelry style changes with me. Over the years I’ve gone from from big earrings to big necklaces, to a permanent stack of interesting bangles to my current staples—EA logo earrings, a ring on each hand, and medium to small necklaces.

eina ahluwalia interview

Looking Back ring

A piece of accessorising advice you’d like to share?

Jewelry can be like personal totems or charms, so keep your sentimental pieces handy, and wear them when you feel you need an extra boost of magic. The only thing I’d advise not to do is to follow any rules. Although wearing too much jewelry is usually an overkill, some people can carry it off just fine. Conversely, there is no need to wear statement necklaces if they don’t fit your personal style just because the trend reports say so.

Which are your favourite pieces from Luxemi’s collection?

I really like the Kundan Glass Lotus Necklace by Amrapali, it is beautifully old-fashioned, delicate and traditional.

eina ahluwalia interview

What do you think of Eina Ahluwalia’s jewelry? Tell us in the comment box below! 

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Filed under Celebrity Style, Designer Style, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Killer Accessories, Trend Alert

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