After running her own clothing brand for several years, U.K. native Parul Kuki Seth decided to shift gears to jewelry design. She sold her clothing firm, Wednesday’s Child, and from a new home in New York City, Seth launched Parulina in 2007. For a signature aesthetic, she applied her Indian heritage to inspiration from London’s Gothic cathedrals, rock music, and high fashion scenes, creating a line that was edgy and filled with color. Once stateside, she supplemented her London College fashion education with jewelry classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as gemology courses through GIA. The resulting pieces are fine jewels with a fresh, fashion-forward styling.
“The latest collection to launch is the Arabian Nights,” she says. “It’s loaded with brilliant pink tourmalines of all shades and hues.” It’s inspired the Pantone color 18-2140 or Cabaret, and is rich with blackened metals such as silver and yellow and rose gold to call attention to the stones.
“Very often before going to bed, I am contemplating some lovely jewels and sometimes a design will come to me in a dream, and I will wake up in the morning with a complete vision of the item,” she explains.
JCK: Describe your signature style.
Parul Kuki Seth: It’s medieval, gothic, and rock ’n’ roll in feel and style; it’s fashion-oriented with my fashion background. It’s mainly organic, and inspired by nature, famous architecture, and buildings, and sometimes the stained glass and ironwork on gates and windows. Plus, music is a huge inspiration and various artists from different periods and bands inspire me. For example, I’m currently working on a very colorful, fun earring collection inspired by Queen. The collection is called Bohemian Rhapsody, with edgy gothic vines, thorns, moons, stars, and studs in blackened pink gold.
JCK: Tell me about your design process.
PKS: I have been designing jewelry for about eight years. I am a fashion designer by training and used to do clothing—my line was called Wednesday’s Child—but I always wanted to do fine jewelry, so this was a natural progression for me as I matured. With jewelry, I studied at FIT for various design and diamond grading courses and also at the GIA for gemology. I am working toward getting my G.G. degree.
I make detailed sketches and collaborate with various jewelers who work with me. We do all the cleaning and the spruing in house in order to get a real feel for the actual piece. Everything is under my supervision. We do make some medieval-inspired clasps and some handmade chains, but we also buy some chains and clasps from finding houses; it depends on the details on the item in question. Pieces are both cast and fabricated.
JCK: Where is the jewelry made?
PKS: More than 98 percent here in New York City and some small things made in Mumbai.
JCK: What metals and stones do you work in?
PKS: Pretty much everything, but mostly reclaimed 18k and 22k gold, platinum, silver, steel, and anything else that may catch my fancy. All of my bespoke pieces are made in platinum. As far as gemstones, I work with everything—I’m not locked into any, but I personally love moonstones, emeralds, natural tourmalines, and rubies, as well as colored diamonds. I love working with natural unheated, untreated gems, and find their inclusions and characteristics charming.
JCK: How many accounts do you currently have?
PKS: We are in seven stores, including Broken English in Los Angeles, Ikram in Chicago, and Jensen Stern in Ketchum, Idaho, in the U.S., and are currently negotiating a few overseas accounts.
JCK: What jewelry shows do you exhibit in?
PKS: The Couture show in June will be our first.
JCK: What is your starting retail price?
PKS: Our starting retail price is $1,200 for silver and $2,000 for 18k gold.