Notes from the dessert

There’s something about the arid beauty of Rajasthan that triggers the creative faculty in most. The
architectural flamboyance of old forts, havelis and palaces, the riot of colours in the clothes donned by the natives and the parched yet flamboyant landscape almost nudges one to explore new avenues of art on an everyday basis. One such inspired soul was Aavriti Jain, whose formative years in Jaipur honed in her the eye to single out the allure in this barrenness. That and spending endless hours at the jewellery workshop of her father, a man she has inherited her design aesthetics from.
Says the talented jewellery designer, “Jaipur is a labyrinth. While the art and architecture continuously stun you, you are bound to marvel at the deft craft of the local artisans. With so much attractiveness around, inspirations run galore. My designs evolve from tiny reflections I have while walking on the streets or a figure I’ve noticed. It’s only later that the thought comes into shape, but the inception is right here, in Jaipur.”
Jewellery designing wasn’t an obvious choice though. After graduating in Mass Media from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Jain took up styling and sales jobs in two top fashion and lifestyle publications. Thereafter, she moved to Milan for her post-graduation in fashion promotion and branding. But fate had other plans in store for her. “I wanted my jewellery designs to challenge the traditional norms of pieces made in Jaipur. They had to be
interesting and dynamic. The idea of Dhora was conceived thus, and took wings during my travels between Jaipur and Milan,” recalls Jain, adding, “Dhora, meaning sand dunes in Rajasthan, reflects the old-world charm and understated elegance of both cities.”
Such was the versatility of Dhora, a brand that has been regaling women with a taste for delicate artistry and skilled workmanship. “Times have changed. We have more working women in our country today and we all need the same circulation in jewellery as we did in clothes. A pair of precious earrings costs as much as a designer lehenga. This is where an intricately designed fashion ornament comes in. You can have many options without burning a hole in your pocket and making a stylish turn at the same time,” explains Jain.
It’s the uniqueness in design that’s making costume jewellery a top draw at weddings. Says Jain, “Speak of budget-friendly weddings and fashion jewellery is the obvious choice. At destination weddings too, women are veering towards them. But, I think, the main reason is that young brides want to play with their looks. Our designs are more experimental, yet the craftsmanship is brilliant. It’s no more about flaunting the most expensive. It’s more about making a beautiful statement that speaks volumes about your sense of style. Also, you get to carry a plethora to a destination without stressing.”
For instance, Jain has had would-be brides flocking to her for a pair of vintage brass earrings only
because they were tired of the ubiquitous polki or jadau heirloom piece thrust on them by their families. “I recommend our lotus maangtikka, lotus earrings, chaandbaalis or cow earrings for a wedding function. These are exquisite, budget-friendly picks,” elaborates Jain, whose personal taste is pretty minimalistic, as we infer from her appreciation of works by Ariel Gordon, Suhani Parikh and Celine.
For the wedding season that’s already here, Jain has launched a series of earrings for bridesmaids. “These will be apt pieces for the bride’s friends and family. At weddings, we pay so much focus on the main duo that the other pretty girls get left out. At Dhora, we want them to celebrate as well and look the part, too,” says Jain with a smile.

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