India’s first-ever jewelry week—India International
Jewellery Week—just debuted in Mumbai, and JCK was fortunate enough to witness the
festivities. It was spectacular! So high-end and well choreographed, and so
unexpected for a country responsible for producing most of the dull-looking diamond heart pendants shown in chain-store Sunday circular ads.
According to organizers, this is precisely what the country
now aims to change—it’s low-end image (please see my news report here). For
sure, India is full of gorgeous gold jewels; think Kundan (elaborate 22k gold
wedding jewelry featuring genuine rubies and emeralds but set with glass, not
diamonds) and Polki, the 22k gold and rose-cut diamond and gemstone
jewels that are also purchased for weddings in India. A host of luxury
Indian jewelers, including Amrapali, a familiar name on the celebrity jewelry circuit
in the States, participated in the four-day event that featured up to eight daily
runway shows full of brand new 22k gold, gemstone, diamond, and even some
Sponsors included Platinum Guild International and
Swarovski, the latter which is known for supporting fledgling designers, and
the former which hopes to get in on the ground floor of a market on its way up.
Clearly, Indian consumers have high standards for their jewels since they love
high-karat gold and diamonds, so why wouldn’t they take an interest in another
luxury metal, the rarest one on the planet?
Celebrity guests like Sonu Nigam and Nakita Nigam, Indian singers, attended some of the shows.
English jeweler Stephen Webster attended IIJW for inspiration and support.
Members of the Italian jewelry industry also attended, to learn, support, and be inspired. From left: Chiara Passa, Chiara; Cristina Salvi, Fiera di Vicenza, and Elisabetta
Molina, Garavelli; and Antonella Borriello, Gennaro Borriello.
Swarovski was one of the event’s sponsors.
Please consider this post an overview of the event, and
moving forward, I’ll blog some specific runway shows. I wasn’t present for the
entirety of IIJW, though—I arrived half way through—so I’ll share with you all
what I was present to capture. Enjoy.