New Delhi, Nov 29 Bibhu Mohapatra has one of the most coveted lists of celebrity clientele of any Indian-origin designer; names like Michelle Obama, Frieda Pinto, Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria, and Jennifer Lopez are just the tip of the iceberg.
The New York-based couturier doesn’t limit his creativity to fashion alone. He has also lent his sensibility and ideas to creating fine jewelry. Mohapatra has collaborated with Forevermark, the diamond brand from De Beers group and was in Mumbai recently to launch the latest Forevermark Artemis Collection, handcrafted by PMJ Jewels of Hyderabad.
PMJ Jewels who are Forevermark’s key retail partners have crafted this exquisite line featuring beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced Forevermark diamonds. The collection features artistic and stylish layered necklaces, cocktail rings, pendant necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and cuffs.
The designer, who has a busy schedule while in India made time to speak with IANSlife and share details about the collection.
How different is the creative process of designing jewelry compared with that of designing clothes?
Mohapatra: Well they aren’t very different in spirit, but yes, the process is extremely different and the techniques are interesting. The materials which go into making clothes and jewels are distinct and disparate. The process of making the final product is unique to each.
The similarity lies in that the focus is on the consumer. My inspiration is always strong women and nature, so the inspiration is the same for me whether it comes to designing clothes or jewels.
Share with us a few details about the collection– the inspiration the motifs and the style.
Mohapatra: I drew inspiration from nature and the unique qualities of a woman for the new Artemis Collection. My partnership with Forevermark started with a conversation, and I discovered a brand with the same ethos, mission, and integrity as my label; it was very clear to me that a collaboration like this can only result in a product with integrity. PMJ Jewels are known for their high standards of precision and quality craftsmanship in diamond jewelry.
I like how Forevermark diamonds are mined and sourced responsibly and are natural so we launched our first Artemis collection a few years ago. This is the second offering for which I have looked into nature. Women and nature have a lot of similarities– their graciousness, their courage and their strength mirror one another. I have used the power and motif of the Lily, and what it signifies in different cultures. We created elements of the Lily using white and yellow diamonds for an organic balance of both linear and modern styles resulting in a very romantic collection.
Many Indian designers based in India have made inroads into the jewelry segment. Do you think this diversification is a financially driven decision rather than an aesthetic one?
Mohapatra: I don’t know their individual reasons, but it makes sense to have a one-stop-shop. Jewelry is cultural for us and nothing is complete without it. When you have elaborate outfits it makes sense to offer your clients jewelry options that compliment it; and also to have them make a day of shopping in your store. You make it easier for the customer, they get to see everything they need from one place without the hassle of going all over the city. So I’m sure it also makes business sense form a financial and strategy viewpoint else why would designers do it.
You have designed for many women in power from all walks of life. Do you think women in Indian politics are afraid to look glamorous?
Mohapatra: It’s a very interesting question. When you talk about strong women and how they dress, the image of Indira Gandhi in her crisp cotton saris immediately comes to mind. She used to meet some of the most powerful leaders in the world dressed like that and she commanded respect.
But that was then, I think that in the political arena now people have a perception that if they dress in simple ‘shalwar kameez’ and saris they will connect with people. Maybe its right, but the times have also changed. People have evolved, the world is more global these days, and people have the awareness and consciousness. So if someone is campaigning or meeting with leaders they don’t necessarily have to dress like that. The audience is evolved and has exposure, I guess now is the time to maybe experiment and try new things.