By Preeta Agarwal
When two talented houses come together, masterpieces are created. 'India Enchanted', the Spring/Summer 2013 collaborative collection by fashion designer Manish Arora and renowned Indian jeweller Amrapali, amalgamates Arora's vision and Amrapali's finesse in fine jewellery. Where on one hand Arora, one of the most inspiring contemporary fashion designers at work in India today, is a synonym for innovation and unconventionality, Amrapali is famous for encapsulating the exclusivity and magnificence of Indian jewellery. Combine the unique mélange of colours that are Arora's trademark with Amrapali's outstanding craftsmanship and the result is a unique collection that takes traditional Indian jewellery and gives it a high-fashion makeover.
Inspired by the decadence of Indian royalty, the teams at Manish Arora and Amrapali worked closely together on the collection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and hair and hand accessories. Arora delved into Amrapali's extensive archives of antique-inspired jewellery, reworking tribal pieces using gold plate, gemstones and crystals and the traditional Indian art of Meenakari (enamelling). By looking at the impressive traditions that exist within Indian jewellery design and adding a contemporary twist, the intricate, visually striking pieces give a fresh perspective on East meets West.
Bold and bright, the collection reinvigorates techniques and motifs from the past. Faceted structures are incorporated with meticulous craftsmanship. Animals feature heavily, echoing the strong motifs, such as hearts and lotus flowers, used heavily in Arora's Ready-to-Wear collection. Tigers and antelopes are adorned with vivid, hand-painted enamelling and vibrant gemstones. Traditional pieces, such as the hand mirror and utility belt, become wearable fashion accessories.
The collection launched at Paris Fashion Week and has become a worldwide phenomenon, especially in India, home country of both brands. It has made its mark in the elite circles and been spotted on both Bollywood celebrities and fashionistas, and prices are reasonable, too. Thanks to the materials used - silver and gold plating - individual pieces from the collection cost from 3,000 INR (US$55) upwards.
'India Enchanted', the Spring/Summer 2013 collection from Manish Arora and Amrapali, is available at Amrapali Jewellery boutiques, leading department stores and from select online retailers.