Raji Anand’s latest jewellery collection brings disparate elements into a cohesive whole
The allure of Raji Anand’s jewellery is that the sum of its parts is as fascinating as its whole. From working with metal and old coins to pipes, nuts, wires and even yarn — her works speak of the philosophy that (sm)all things make up the universe. “I never trained in design, so the elements that I incorporate into my pieces are, in the traditional sense, not meant for jewellery. But, what I have seen over the years is, no matter how disparate and individual these elements are, they have a unique way of coming together,” offers the Chennai-based designer, who is known for her reconstructed kemp jewellery. Set on proving this point of view once again, the 43-year-old recently embarked on formulating a line inspired wholly by a bohemian aesthetic.
“The idea for this collection came about because of a collaboration with a designer friend during the lockdown. What I noticed was people were inclined towards easy-to-wear and breezy silhouettes and were dressing up their looks with pieces of non-traditional statement jewellery,” explains the designer. Tapping into the trend, Raji was quick to pivot from her much-loved temple jewellery style and experiment with a boho-gypsy collection.
Created as a daywear edit, we find that the neckpieces are lighter, liberal with its use of colours and contain a lot more contrasting elements than her previous lines. “My clients don’t come to me for a predictable style and structure. They come for something out of the box,” shares Raji, revealing that her favourite necklace from this edit was constructed using 10 pendants. Expect to find jewellery featuring fabric panels, like Kanjeevaram silk and lycra, in addition to beads, filigree pendants, hair ornaments and other embellishments made from oxidised and neutral-toned silver and gold.
Extending suggestions on how to style the collection, Raji volunteers the answer to one of the designer’s most frequently asked question, ‘How does one wear a Raji Anand piece?’ “Since the line has a more outdoor, folksy feel, you could pair it up with vibrant, solid-hued garments including a cotton sari or even a flowy linen dress.”