India, a country of myriad cultures, colours and inspirations. Diverse traditions, an elaborate history and a strong sense of regionalism gives India a unique sense of character. Deeply inspired by their Indian roots, self-taught designers Mamta and Vidhi are tapping into the space between fashion and fine jewellery with their alluring brand, Zariin. Speaking exclusively to HausMag, the designer-duo give us an insight into their enticing world of jewellery.
Sisters Mamta and Vidhi left behind their jobs in the corporate world in order to pursue their creative passions and eye for design. “A corporate life is all about structure, routine and a regular standard of life” the designers tell HausMag, “while it works wonderfully for some, a creative soul almost never settles in with the idea.” The sisters were compelled by the world of jewellery design, seeing the artisanal process as a journey, an exploration of the new and a chance to recreate the old. No two days are the same in the world of design, “it can be risky but it brings great satisfaction.”
One of the major design inspirations for Zariin has always been travel. Not just in terms of aesthetic inspiration, but the requirement for functionality. Pieces which are suitable for travel must be versatile, easy to carry and possess a strong styling capability. Mamta and Vidhi always try to incorporate these values within their pieces. “Wearability is the ruling factor because we understand that we are designing for women looking for versatility. Each piece is unique in its own way because jewellery is so much more than accessorising – jewellery is a personal expression and your spin to an outfit.”
Zariin’s latest ‘Sultana’ collection is inspired by the artefacts and ancient influences of the Byzantine era. This beautifully crafted collection boasts intricate details, extravagant colours and rich statement pieces. Empress Theodora from the Byzantine era is the collection’s primary muse, she stood for self determination – just like Zariin women. With decadent elements of Art Nouveau combined with Byzantine aesthetic, this collection offers strong and stylish chokers, glamorous earrings, cascading necklaces and powerful rings. The jewels are set with coral, malachite, black onyx and lapis lazuli – imparting colours that spell royalty.
Zariin is a combination of well-chosen and eclectic semi-precious stones set in brass metal. Each piece is dipped in lustrous 22kt gold to truly capture the essence of the stones. While the industry standard has been to cut and polish stones to perfection, Zariin works with uncut and organic semi-precious stones in their raw state, celebrating the natural nuances and contours of each stone. Every collection is meant to cherish the beauty of the stones in their original state, synchronising with the philosophy of the label, which celebrates the beauty of imperfections and individuality.
The last decade has seen a tremendous surge in the value of the depth of Indian craft. Designers are revitalising these deep rooted processes by using them to form the base of their work. Old Indian crafting methods are combined with contemporary aesthetics, powerfully addressing the needs of modern Indian women and international moods. India’s unique history in craft has a deep impact on the design aesthetic of Zariin.
As well as the tantalising depth of Indian culture, many of Zariin’s collections have been inspired by the sisters travels around the world. For example, ‘Serpent Charm’ was born of a visit to Turkey while ‘Silent Noise’ took influence from the coral reefs of the Andaman Islands. “It is beautiful how the same place inspires people differently and the result is always of a unique perspective.”
Avant-garde, yet classic in inspiration. Zariin designs are eclectic, bold and sophisticated. “Our pieces are crafted for women who pay attention to design and detail and want to work these pieces into their everyday look. This philosophy combined with fine detailing and fresh inspiration every season makes our products strong and establishes a unique vision.”
Mamta and Vidhi usually begin documenting their creative ideas through imagery and sketches. The approach to each collection is different because the inspiration is always different, “sometimes the first sketches result in striking pieces of jewellery, whereas there are times it takes several development phases to achieve the desired results.” While the artisans approach each collection differently, there is a specific development process that they follow. Only after expressing ideas on paper do the designers begin developing the first mock-ups. Testing the ergonomics of each piece is an imperative part of the Zariin process, as jewellery involves close interaction with human body.
Zariin is a label that caters to the needs of women who love to express themselves with what they wear. The semi-precious stones combined with 22kt gold plating makes each piece feel like a unique treasure.
With special thanks to Mamta and Vidhi for their insightful words and artistic inspirations.