Puja Bhargava swaps staple jewellery motifs for words to create statement jewellery, quite literally
Think of the last time you found yourself doodling during a conversation. What was it that you found yourself drawing— words, figures, random zentangle shapes? Ask designer Puja Bhargava Kamath and she’ll tell you that her latest jewellery collection, Hidden Messages, came about during one such session. Born out of conversations on feminism, women’s rights and self-acceptance, this collection is a departure from the brand’s usual design sensibilities that has so far found inspiration in places, iconic motifs and their history or craft skills. “This collection stems, in part, from the various conversations taking place around us. The initial idea came about while doing some random doodling. Once I put in some words in to those doodles, I knew the direction I wanted to take with the new collection,” shares Puja, founder of Lai Designs.
For better or verse
Understated and pared down, the collection comprises 15 unique designs as earrings, rings, pendants and necklaces and features graphic patterns with subliminal worded messages like Free to be me, Live, Love, Laugh and Follow Your Own Brick Road, amongst others. “Only when you care to hold the jewellery close, the message reveals itself to you,” she says. Central to the collection, each of the designs have rounded edges, mostly are bubble-like and are made using sterling silver. “The pattern was determined by the quote we were using in the design.”
An Indo-Californian jewellery label creating limited collections only, Hidden Messages is handcrafted by a team of 13 artisans at a workshop in Jaipur. “The most we have ever done is 50 pieces of a design. Usually, we cap it at 25. So if you ever bought from Lai, you can be rest assured that there will only ever be so many people in the world who will have the same jewellery as you!” says the accessory design graduate from NIFT, New Delhi. Six months from conceptualisation to creation, hand-fretted samples are designed before the final collection is created. “The final jewellery pieces are then made by taking individual castings of the original samples and finished with a special satin finish that is at the same time sophisticated and lush.”
Rs 2,500 upwards. Available online.