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Trends set in stone

Red is old. White is cliché. Blue is commonplace. Green is drab. Shagun Nanda prefers novel hues for the jewellery she designs

BARELY 26, Shagun Nanda is already bored with diamonds and emeralds. Well, making jewellery using those precious stones, that is. "I want people to get away from diamonds, rubies and emeralds. I use stones of various hues so that people can have a piece of jewellery to suit every mood, every occasion," says the pretty designer from Delhi, as she pushes her hair back to reveal a smart green tourmaline studded earrings.

"When I make a sketch of a piece and colour it, I go hunting for a stone of that colour. My design and specifications never change!" says Shagun. She once searched for lavender stones in a Jaipur merchant's bag of 3,000 stones!

This eye for colour and design is what makes Shagun's jewellery special. "Sometimes people think I actually have the stones dyed," she says. She has just unveiled her signature line Shagun at Trendsmith, the lifestyle store from the house of Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri-Nirmal Zaveriat at Indiranagar. Specially cut stones add a new dimension to the collection. Green, pink, and grey tourmalines seductively nuzzle brilliant diamonds and rose-cut diamonds. Topaz in different shades of blue and stones like iolites, aquamarine, appetites and labrodites lend themselves very well to Shagun's designs.

Cost no bar

"I design what appeals to me with no thought to cost or trends," says the designer when asked why she chose to give an oxidised silver look to a gold-and-silver mixed necklace (Rs. 90,000).

"The piece should look good and the user should feel happy wearing it." Of the 90-95 pieces of jewellery that form the Shagun collection, many have a whimsical appeal. A flower-shaped diamond and gold earring comes with three changeable centres, made of rare-coloured tourmalines (Rs. 58, 000). The lavender earrings that remind one of a bunch of luscious grapes have detachable hangings (Rs. 78,000). A earring made of labrodites with little spots on them reveals that stones need not be clear to be beautiful (Rs. 46, 800).

"The mindset of people regarding jewellery has changed. It is no more seen just as solid investment. People have stopped looking at resale value and have started wearing precious jewellery more often.

This allows designers to move away from traditional patterns," says the lady who designed her own jewellery for her marriage.

"I designed Jadau jewellery and had it made in Jaipur. The jewellers there have very good workmanship, and that is why a lot of my designs are executed there."

Studying design

Much-travelled, Shagun studies jewellery design wherever she goes. "On flights, I cover reams of paper with sketches for new pieces. When I get back home, I have my collection ready on paper in half an hour!"

Feast your eyes on the colourful display at Trendsmith. The show is on till August 14, 2004. For details contact Asma Zubair of Trendsmith at 51155650/1/2.


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