Designer Shivani Sharma is bringinging back traditional Assamese craftsmanship with label Kharikajai
Accessory label from Assam, Kharikajai — that derives its name from the local word for blooming jasmine flower — has a distinctly vintage vibe. Their Instagram page often harks back to old Indian
movies and advertisements setting the tone of the brand. In perfect sync, founder Shivani Sharma recreates heirloom jewellery from designs that are at times seven decades or even a century old. “I wanted to highlight traditional Assamese jewellery as they are so intricate, and rarely seen on the national platform. Most of them are crafted in silver with gold plating if one desires,” elaborates Shivani.
We learn that Shivani works with a group of highly adept craftsmen, from Nagaon and Barpeta districts of Assam. “It is difficult to find artisans who know the old techniques and these pieces are highly specialised and often take a couple of months to make,” shares the Guwahati-based designer. The first thing one notices about her designs in her latest bridal collection, titled Bia, is that they have a timeless appeal. Bia in Assamese denotes a wedding and she says she couldn’t find a more apt name for her bridal collection.
To enrich the collection and be authentic, she looked back at her grandma’s accessory, and moulded the pieces in its image. “One design which I recreated was my great grand-mother’s wedding jewellery and although in today’s generations the vintage designs are slowly fading away, we in Kharikajai are trying our best to sustain those designs as they are timeless,” she says.
You can spot a multi-layered necklace in pure silver, with a gold plated coating that comes with a statement floral motif. This statement piece, she says, is a recreation of her great grandmother’s wedding jewellery. Each piece is made to order and takes around two months to deliver. The pieces acquire a rare touch as they are handcrafted by the artisans rather painstakingly. The other statement piece that grabs one attention is the Rani Haar-inspired necklace, which translates in English into a piece of jewellery that adorns a queen. And it indeed looks fit for a queen as the necklace with imagined butterfly and circular lotus motif look highly regal and would elevate the look of any bride-to-be.
Rs 12,000 upwards. Available online.