Ahalya S feels that globalisation of jewellery designs is fine, provided one is loyal to one’s roots
Chennai-based young jewellery designer Ahalya S does not believe in designing the socalled ‘locker jewellery’, which can be kept all packed away neatly in a locker. Rather, she wants “every woman who buys my pieces to wear it every day and not store them in bank lockers only to bring them out for special occasions.’’ It was during her brother’s wedding when she couldn’t find the jewellery that she had in mind, that Ahalya, a first-generation designer, took to jewellery designing. Coming from a family of doctors and academicians, this Psychology graduate decided to complete a course in diamond grading conducted by the International Gemmology Institute before entering the profession.
“I love to design in gold and use different colours of gold – yellow, white, pink – to create designs which are simple, graceful and elegant. Apart from gold, I love to design in white diamonds too,’’ says Ahalya, who co-owns the four-year-old jewellery boutique, Rasvihar in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Keeping the traditional and conservative nature of Chennai women in mind, she contemporises traditional designs. At first glance, her jewellery may look conventional and old-fashioned as she specialises in jhumkis, neckpieces, wrist ornaments etc, but a closer look reveals a different story.
“Chennai women certainly are keeping pace with global trends but I strongly feel that along with globalisation of designs one shouldn’t lose touch with one’s roots.
So I make special pieces for every woman who comes to our store. Along with the South Indian influences, I add a modern touch,’’ explains the young designer, who admits that more than anything else, it is people who inspire her.
At a recent show held in Mumbai, she presented a collection titled ‘Lace and Leaf ’. The necklaces shown off by the models looked more delicate and softer than Victorian era crocheted lace collar. Here the designs were ‘crocheted’ in gold
interspersed with precious gems to add colour to pieces. That is the beauty of Ahalya’s work.
Her designs aren’t age bound. She has started a new line called ‘Baby Ras’, which are designer jewellery targeted at everyone from newborns to teens, and includes her trademark jhumkas, fine bangles etc. “Many women with newborns are always on the lookout for something special,’’ says Ahalya.
Ahalya points out that if one is particular about attire, fit and cut then the same rule applies to jewellery too. “You can’t pair one jewellery with every attire or for every occasion,’’ she adds.