Bibhu Mohapatra launches his first jewellery line in association with Forevermark
We caught up with the designer
ELLE: What was it like designing your first ever jewellery collection?
Bibhu Mohapatra: This is something I’ve always wanted to dabble in. I thought about it when I first saw some of our family jewels. They were passed on from my great grandmother to my grandmother and to my mother. Eventually I started my own clothing label and when the opportunity came I was excited to experiment with this new vocabulary.
ELLE: How has your aesthetic translated from your clothes to your jewellery line?
BM: It’s a natural extension of my brand and an exciting space to enter in to. It is made of the same DNA, the same ideals and the same design philosophy which runs through my clothes. I wanted to make sure that my jewellery line is refined. It should give the customers the same kind of feeling of empowerment, confidence and strength that I believe my clothes stand for. Also it must make the client feel beautiful. So you can say it is most definitely an extension of me and my brand.
ELLE: How did this collaboration with Forevermark come about?
BM: A cousin of mine has been working with Forevermark. On one of my trips to India, we met and I expressed my interest to venture into this space. We started brainstorming and sharing ideas and realised that this could actually be an amazing collaboration. When it finally worked out, I needed to express to both teams working on this collaboration that I don’t want to design a line that is inaccessible – by that I mean the aim is to create beautiful pieces that are commercial and marketable and can be sold at different price points. Forevermark completely agreed with me.
ELLE: What was the inspiration behind this collection?
BM: It really truly stems from the story I mentioned earlier – my mother had this jewellery box filled with jewels that were passed down through generations and also pictures of her wearing them at her wedding. It wasn’t just fancy jewellery but these pieces told a story about the relationship shared between generations. This is exactly what I wanted to recognise when creating each piece in my own collection. I also looked into our ancient Vedic scriptures where the sun, moon and stars play an important role in our lives, love and creation. Over 5,000 years of Vedic astrology has provided us a method of understanding the compatibility of two people through the alignment of the sun moon and stars. Also this saying by EE Cummings has always moved me, ‘Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born – you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.’
ELLE: What were the challenges you faced?
BM: There are of course practical differences between the two. I have been designing clothes for a long time now, I have been trained in that, I went to school for that but of course I had my concerns when designing jewellery. The questions were more to do with the technicality of the job – like, how we would use the diamonds, how to combine the metals and diamonds… It was important to maintain the authenticity of the design. Here is where the support of the Forevermark team was crucial to help me bring my vision and expressions to life. It wasn’t about just creating a beautiful piece of jewellery creating something that has longevity because I hope that these pieces become heirloom pieces.
ELLE: If you had to pick three of your favourite pieces from the collection, which would they be?
BM: First would be the cuff, it has a medallion design with a star surrounded by crescents all set with Forevermark diamonds. It is a beautiful statement piece. The next would be the ring, beautifully sculpted in metal and gold. The intricate bunching of tiny stars with a big diamond and a crescent in the middle makes it another key piece. Lastly the pendant: it’s a medallion with a diamond drop and can be placed on to a simple chain. I feel like these pieces capture the essence of the collection. They are also the first pieces I designed and have a special place in my heart.