Indian Fashion Police

Honest opinion about the Indian Fashion Scenario

LAI – Silver Jewellery [April 2012]

Posted by Indian Fashion Police on April 16, 2012

Despite starting off this section last year, I still feel as if this section is still new and is yet to feature thousands of more upcoming designers. Over this one year I have seen some amazing work and have come to know many new designers which has been a blessing for my work. This month is no different where IFP introduces ‘LAI’ a label which offers beautiful jewelry creations in silver. The designs are contemporary yet exquisite and have an Indian theme to it………….IFP had to feature this glorious jewelry as our ‘find’ for this month.

 

The creator Puja Bhargava Kamath who is a graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi and a gemologist, was earlier into designing of silver jewelry for Indian & international design houses. She has won many accolades in designing from  DeBeers, World Gold Council & Perles de Tahiti. After learning the art for years, Puja decided to venture into creating her own designs under the label ‘LAI’.

She used her design talents to combine silver with enamel, glass, wood, fabric while creating the jewels. ‘LAI’ is a beautiful expression of Puja’s creativity yet very affordable on the pockets. LAI’ starts from a price range of Rs, 1,000 to goes as high as Rs. 10,000.

 

IFP also got a chance to chat with Puja about her ideas and inspiration behind her work. If it is new and most importantly ‘Indian’ this is the place where you would find it.

Q & A with Puja Bhargava Kamath – Creator of ‘LAI’

1) What does the name of your label ‘LAI’ mean?

Lai is a sanskrit word meaning “the beloved one”.

In old french it also refers to a lyrical, narrative poem (written in octosyllabic couplets) that often deals with tales of adventure and romance.

2) How did you start off designing silver jewelry and what was the inspiration behind your work?

After my schooling, I did a graduate course in Accessory Designing from NIFT, New Delhi. I supplemented my knowledge base w.r.t. jewellery by further doing a course in Gemology & went on to work as a freelance designer for a number of leading national & international jewellery houses before coming out with my own collection of silver jewellery.

In between, I also worked extensively in the handicrafts sector, travelling the length & breadth of the country to work with different artisans groups. I also dabbled a bit in bags & home decor goods before “settling” down with jewellery.

I draw inspiration from a number of things….textiles, monuments, patterns etc.

I don’t believe in just doing pretty designs. For me, as a designer, I love it when I can immerse myself & learn something about, say, weaves of a particular region & then interpret them as jewelley designs. Or the Mughal decorations & architecture. Or dig in deep into the history of paisley as a motif. And then use these bits of images & information to design a collection. So we don’t do just pretty designs. We do pretty designs that are well researched & have a story to tell.

3)  Why choose silver for making jewelry since there are so many contemporary jewelry made available today which do not have any precious metal in the designs?

I have always loved silver jewellery so, I guess, opting to work with silver was a natural choice. I love the feel & the look of it. Besides, it can be given a myriad finishes to project different looks….glossy, oxidized, hammered, etched, plated etc.

Also, I think I am a bit old-world in my taste…..every thing earthy & organic attracts me…..& silver fits in beautifully with my sensibilities. Also, there is something more forever about silver jewellery than say a wooded necklace….& I’d like Lai to be worn & treasured by its owners for really-really long!

Having said that, I do often use other material with silver like old coins, stones, shells….it mostly depends on the theme but sometimes even on the availability or my whim!

4) Any jewelry designer in particular whose work you look up to?

Not exactly look up to but there are many designers & design houses whose work is I really like…. Azza Fahmy, Pippa Small, Cartier, Buccellati to name a few.

5) What’s next for ‘LAI’?

Though I’m been doing silver jewellery for 3 years now, its only been 6 months since we branded it (Lai). We have a calendar of events (exhibition & in-store trunk shows) lined up in different cities & have started a Facebook page too to connect with our patrons.

Right now, the focus is to be able to take our designs to different cities to promote our brand. Hopefully, as we continue to register in the minds of people as an approachable brand doing great designs, we’ll formulate the bigger plans (a beautiful, quaint store of our own will definitely be a part of that plan!)

 6) Where is ‘LAI’ jewelry available?

We sell through exhibitions in various cities and now through our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/laionline

Creations of ‘LAI’

Photo courtesy : LAI on Facebook
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