An unusual usage of pearls marks Alpana Gujral’s new collection, ‘Dhoop Chaun’
Pearls, in their most adored (and common) form, usually come on a single string or three. Perfectly shaped, gleaming white and evenly-sized, they, not surprisingly, lead to many comparisons with a perfect set of teeth. The pearls in Alpana Gujral’s new collection come imperfect, misshapen – mostly unfinished and pretty close to their oyster-dwelling days.
The jewellery designer recently unveiled her new collection, thoughtfully titled ‘Dhoop Chaun’, at her Lajpat Nagar studio. ‘Dhoop Chaun’, literally ‘sun and shade’, because of the mix of shades and an alternation between the dark and light in terms of usage of stones and gold and silver. Also, in the simultaneous use of crystalline and opaque stones.
Explaining the concept, Alpana says, “I’ve used various tones of the same colour in each piece. For example, in one piece I might have used different shades of polki. In another, different shades of coral. Each piece is different.”
The collection, which took six months to conceptualise and implement, is a mix of pieces with Indo-Saracen design influence (for which Alpana Gujral is particularly known), floral motifs and some fun pieces. Besides ruby and emerald, polki, coral, tourmaline, citrine, garnet and aquamarine have been used applying meenakari and jadau techniques.
Gold and garnet
Three-string rounded grey pearls are interrupted by a spurt of gold, garnet, ruby and uneven pearls. A stone-studded bracelet in oxidised silver is designed in the form of a rose and its accompanying rosebud and foliage. Then there is a garnet necklace with a huge podgy crooked pearl forming the centrepiece.
On the offbeat use of pearls, Alpana says, “I am a non-conformist when it comes to the use of symmetry in my jewellery. I like to use materials in unusual ways. Asymmetry lends character to a piece.”
Black, too, figures prominently. And occasionally, mythology. In one necklace, a chunky dull gold tablet on closer look reveals the embossed figures of Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati.
Also, the designer seems to have had fun with the cocktail rings, which come in the form of birds, snakes and dolphins.
Visitors at Alpana’s new studio have something else to look at and admire – paintings of Satish Gujral, Alpana’s father, on the walls.