Fashion

Lara Morakhia’s antique roadshow

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Using vintage jewellery from around the world, the designer creates something new

Lara Morakhia has a rather magpie-like tendency to collect antique gold and silver accessories on her travels across the country and the world. This includes necklaces from Kutch, Buddhist pendants from Tibet, and hair ornaments from Ladakh. These pieces have made their way into the doctor-turned-designer’s latest collection of jewellery, Tavus.

“The name means peacock in Turkish. I drew inspiration for this line from the way the birds welcome the monsoon,” says the Mumbai-based designer, who launched her eponymous brand early last year. Tavus, her fourth collection, features 18 different pieces, ranging from kadas to statement necklaces and rings. Her work is a favourite with stars like Sonakshi Sinha, Jahnvi Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan; last year, Oprah Winfrey wore her earrings for an Elle India magazine photo-shoot.

Piecing together

Earlier this year, we featured Swapna Mehta, a Hyderabad designer who also upcycles jewellery, and uses discarded single earrings and incomplete creations sourced from goldsmiths with cancelled orders. Morakhia takes a different approach “I make it a point to visit local markets and antique stores when I travel. If I can visualise something as a different type of jewellery, I’ll immediately pick it up.”

So you’ll find a pendant made with an ethically-sourced warthog tusk she picked up in South Africa. Or a ring featuring silver embellishments from the ceremonial leather belts used on horses in Rajasthan. “When I get home to my workshop, I sit with the pieces and put them together the way I see it in my mind. This is passed on to the karigars, who combine them using traditional techniques. Even if additional gold or silver is required, we use vintage material,” she explains, adding that her jewellery cannot be replicated. Once the collection is launched, Morakhia plans to keep adding to it, as she continues to find inspiration all around her. “That’s the beauty of what I do; the options are endless,” she concludes.

Tavus is available at Lara Morakhia’s store in Mumbai, and on laram.in. From ₹50,000 upwards. 7738627625

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