By Preeta Agarwal
Amid the heavy downpour and traffic jams, the month of August is always special for the jewellery industry in India, when experts from across the globe gather in Mumbai to experience some of the best couture and commercial jewellery. This year the month began with the 5th edition of the India International Jewellery Week (IIJW) - a five-day extravaganza during which brands, designers and new talent are given a stage on which to show off their finest creations in the glare of the media.
With Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, brand ambassador for IIJW, inaugurating jewellery week bedecked in Nirav Modi jewels, Gitanjali Gems opened the first show with some stunning jewellery and Bollywood favorites Akshaya Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. The highlight of day one was the enchanting show by Nirav Modi, which welcomed its guests into the Garden of Eden with a ramp lit by thousands of diamonds. Jewel after jewel paraded past while ballerinas danced gracefully amongst the models. The show closed with Lisa Haydon wearing an elegant masterpiece of diamonds and rubies.
Day two and three showcased the talents of contemporary jewellery designers such as Pallavi Foley, established names like Golecha jewellers and the budding talents of final-year students from various jewellery colleges, including the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ), Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and National Institute of Design (NID). The most anticipated show on day four was Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers from Jaipur, who chose the occasion to officially launch its Amer collection in Mumbai.
Dominating the ramp was a reproduction of the fort of Amer, with the life-size Ganesh Pol gate in the centre. The theme, "Reflection of undying charm of Rajasthan in Indian Cinema", captured the soulful spirit of Rajasthan and its splendid architecture through movie sequences and songs of three different eras of Indian cinema.
Sharmila Tagore made a gracious entry, depicting the silent movie era. Famous folk singer Ila Arun set the stage on fire with her gypsy look and chunky jewellery as she sang and danced along with the models, after which the gorgeous Kangana Ranaut sashayed down the ramp with her dashing beau, the model-turned actor Vidyut Jammwal.
The Grand finale on 8 August was a gathering of the 'Best of the Best' jewellery from the previous days, together with s stunning show by PC Jewellers.
As IIJW drew to a close, the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) began. In its 30th year, IIJS is one of the world's leading B2B jewellery exhibitions, hosted by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The event dictates the jewellery trends for the year ahead, and it here that most of the buying happens for the year ahead in the everyday wear, lightweight and commercial categories. IIJS is also a hub for those looking to procure polished diamonds and coloured gemstones.
While the big names in the jewellery industry are in town, Retail Jeweller India group hosts its annual awards ceremony. Anmol Jewellers bagged the 'Best Heritage Jewellery of the Year' award for it three-row heritage piece 'Jharokha', inspired by the carved windows of the forts of Rajasthan. Mirari won the 'Best Couture Jewellery of the Year' award for its 'Secrets of Spring' earrings, decorated with bejewelled butterflies and flowers. Tanishq, a name synonymous with the '360 Degree Campaign of the Year' award, was a winner once again this year, while Farah Khan was deservedly crowned 'Jewellery Designer of the Year'.