1988 was a time when the concept of designer jewelry was unheard of in India. 1988 was when Asha Kamal Modi, now a celebrated designer, first launched her own line of designer jewelry and changed the face of traditional jewelry in our country. Art Karat found its humble beginnings as a small boutique in New Delhi, employing just two craftsman. Since then it has come a long way and has grown rapidly with more than 500 craftsman at the company’s workshop across India.
Each of Asha Kamal Modi’s design is varied in style and mood, made to perfection by the finest artisans, while the focus is kept on excellent craftsmanship. She has also previously designed jewelry for Bollywood blockbusters like Devdas and Monsoon Wedding. We got an insight into the mind of the talented creative head of Art Karat, just as she comes out with her newest collection – Umrao Jaan. Read on to know what we found out! We also have for you, an exclusive sneak peek at the latest Art Karat collection – Umrao Jaan!
Style Aria - For our readers, please tell us about how Art Karat came about, and your background in jewelry design?
AKM – I am a trained gemologist and have always been fascinated with bespoke jewelry pieces and that led to the creation of Art Karat. The landscape of jewelry scene in India has changed over the last few decades. People have become more open to the experimental form of jewelry and are not scared to try out precious and semi-precious jewelry as part of their life.
Style Aria – What is your design philosophy? Where do you draw inspiration from?
AKM – My design philosophy is mainly based on one factor – to see jewelry as a piece of art, to be able to adorn yourself with beautiful and unique designs. I also prefer to use as many vibrant colors as possible in each of my creations so as to stand out among the plethora of jewelry designers today. I also believe that women from every age group should be able to relate with my designs and wear it with pride. My main inspiration comes from human contact. I have always been drawn to the rich cultural heritage of our past and have been inspired to create an alternate line of jewelry based on silver, focused on unique designs and excellent craftsmanship. Art Karat jewelry is a beautiful blend of classic and contemporary design. Our aim is to create a distinct line of jewelry with stunning pieces which adorns a woman’s body. Moreover, to be able to see people wearing your jewelry and loving it, is so fulfilling!
Style Aria – What are 3 jewelry must-haves for this season, according to you?
AKM – The 3 jewelry must haves for this season are Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet. All three are statement pieces on their own and by wearing any one of them one can certainly upgrade one’s look and give a classic twist to your ensemble.
Style Aria – Which is your favorite go-to piece from the Umrao Jaan collection and why?
AKM – All the pieces from the Umrao Jaan collection are close to my heart but if I have to pick one it will definitely be the Hasli with pearls. Personally, I love this piece as I believe its a very versatile piece and can provide an edge to one’s outfit/look.
Style Aria – 3 jewelry trends that are here to stay for the long term, according to you, and every style conscious woman should invest in?
AKM – Kundan jewelry, Diamond jewelry and Temple jewelry from South India with religious figures and motifs are unbelievable beautiful.
Each of the above are gorgeous trends and I believe are here to stay and will never be out of style. These are time-tested classic pieces which every style conscious woman should own. These are true examples of timeless beauty.
Style Aria – Fun statement bling vs. elegant classic pieces – your pick for a night of socializing?
AKM – As I mentioned earlier, I love to create pieces using vibrant hues. According to me even an ordinary piece of jewelry can look fabulous depending on the way one styles it. So, both fun statement bling and elegant classic pieces are the perfect companion for a night of socialzsing depending on what you pair them with!
Style Aria – If you were only allowed to wear one kind of jewelry for the rest of your life, what would be your pick and why?
AKM – If I were allowed to wear only one kind of jewelry for the rest of my life it will be a Polki with diamond ring or a solitaire ring. The best explanation, I guess, would simply be because I find them absolutely stunning and would love to wear them for every single day of my life.
Art Karat, with its newest collection this season, pays homage to the classic period film Umrao Jaan and the beautiful Mughal craftsmanship. We got an exclusive sneak peek into the absolutely stunning collection! The design and craftsmanship of the collection has been inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the lost golden era. Semi precious stones like emerald, ruby, pearl and kundan have been used to epitomize delicate artistry which gives a Nizami imperial look. The jewelry is crafted in sterling silver with 22k gold plating. Heavy stone work and elaborate enameling forms a focal point of the collection.
The collection is perfect for the upcoming spring wedding season – for the bridal party or friends of brides, who’re almost as conscious of what they’re wearing as the bride herself!
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