Alok Vaid Menon, an activist and a poet has been a source of inspiration for the people belonging to the non-conformist gender identities through his ever-transformative work. Through their art and activism, Menon x Papa Don’t Preach is bringing attention to issues that have long been marginalised and misunderstood. A five-judge Supreme Court constitution bench in India has begun considering a number of petitions seeking the legal recognition of same-sex unions there. The outcome of their hearing will define the scope of the LGBTQIA+ community’s personal and marital rights. This collaboration spotlights a message of inclusivity and acceptance that resonates with individuals from all walks of life. It is clear that Menon’s work is changing the conversation around gender identity and helping to create a more compassionate and understanding world.
Two powerful forces when combined together creates a wonder of healing words and the enchantment of an unapologetic imagery. The collaboration of the homegrown luxury brand Papa Don’t Preach and the iconic thought leader, Alok Menon offers a 17-piece jewellery line which embodies the traditional appearance of celestial and floral motifs, which is key to the brand style. The special inclusion of Alok’s thoughts and comments gives the edition a unique feel. Alok’s philosophy of self-love encapsulated in ‘Letters of Love’ pendant, a statement piece that takes the form of a gold-plated brass flower etched with reaffirming words from Alok – ‘becoming,’ ‘alive,’ ‘love you and need you.’ The words serve as reminders to stay in your power covered in rose quartz cabochons, glass jade stones, and tumble stones in amethyst and turquoise hues.
The collection features a central motif that takes the form of a distinctive sapphic flower so named in honour of the Greek poetess Sappho. The motif is pictured to symbolise the beauty, resilience, and strength of same-sex love as her remarks became a representation of the LGBTQ community. This powerful collaboration also gives us a gist about Alok’s roots in Kerala with elements typically seen in South Indian jewellery. The Suriyan Hairpin was inspired from Kerala’s customary head jewellery. Features metal craft with beautiful hand embroidery. The design is inspired by the sun, known as Suriyan and is a symbol of power, strength, and vitality in South India.
The campaign shoot is centred on deities while artistically modelled by Alok. It showcases power of sacred geometric symbols and mudras as doors to the worlds within us. This is followed by a series of symbols representing sacred geometry and merkaba to represent divine harmony, duality, the collaborative energies of mind and body and the divine amalgamation of masculine and feminine. The collection includes 1 body chain, 3 neckpieces, 1 hair pin, 1 mathapatti, 6 rings and 5 pairs of earrings.
This potent partnership that promotes art, inclusivity and authenticity wouldn’t be possible without the people that fight to live their truth everyday. For this project, Papa Don’t Preach will be donating 30% of the profits from the new jewellery collection ‘Alok x Papa Don’t Preach’ to Aravani Art Project – an Indian public art collective, run by trans and cis women. The proceeds from the sale will be donated to the collective for a period of three months from the launch of the collection. As a result of this effective partnership, the brand has successfully created a platform to empower self expression and diversity, also setting a benchmark of what can be done to promote the idea of an inclusive campaign in the future.