Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Indian Experience

I just got back from an amazing trip to Goa, India to attend the second annual IIJS Signature show. Organized by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the show was created to build something of a "Brand India"--a destination for the best that Indian jewelry designers and manufacturers have to offer. Although it was a small show (just over 70 exhibitors), it was certainly not short on style.

A lot of what I saw was gorgeous, traditional Indian jewelry (like the set above). These pieces are laden with diamonds, emeralds and rubies, and are often made of high-karat yellow gold (which has a richer appearance and softer quality than lower-karat gold which is alloyed with other materials.) But, you'll also notice that a lot of celebrities are donning Indian-inspired jewels, like Kate Beckinsale's huge diamond earrings at the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party (below).

One of my favorites exhibitors was Balpalal Keshavlal, a Mumbai-based jeweler that has been around since 1939. Their stunning creations are fit for royalty, and it's always fun to see a set like the one below up close and personal.

I also fell for a collection of over-the-top bracelets by Seth Sunderdas & Sons (see below). These rainbow-colored bangles were made with stingray skin and then covered with pearls, diamonds and gemstones. Although the look is definitely "look at me", these bracelets could transform any plain outfit to wow in mere seconds. Kind of reminds me of the look Heidi Klum went for at the Oscars with her outrageous stack of Lorraine Schwartz (also below) baubles.

In case you are just as interested in the location as the jewelry, I'll post more pictures from gorgeous Goa later!