Jewellery Designer Radhika Jain On Her Unconventional Aesthetic, Sustainable Fashion And More
When you think statement jewellery and elaborate designs, one of the names that are bound to pop in your head it that of jewellery designer Radhika Jain’s label, MiRA. With her bold and unconventional design aesthetic, her modern approach to traditional jewellery and her ability to present the great craftsmanship of Bengal artisans with her intricate designs, Radhika has long since established her foothold in the semi-precious fashion jewellery segment. And her collection, ‘Jardin d’Eden’ is further proof of Jain’s creative brilliance.
MFG got in touch with the talented designer to find out more about the collection, the brand and the designer. Excerpts from our exclusive conversation…
1. Tell us a bit about your background. What went into establishing the label?
I have always been a creative person with a yen for everything artistic and have not taken any formal training from any institute. I found my calling in life one summer, helping my cousin design jewellery. I was so fascinated by the whole process that I decided I wanted to design my own creations which received much appreciation. That boosted my confidence and inspired me to take this profession seriously.
2. Your designs are very unconventional, particularly the body harnesses. How did you break into such a design aesthetic?
My theme Jardin ‘ d Eden is inspired by the biblical garden of Eden in which, as per my imagination, the first thing that humans used to cover themselves were body harnesses, something that fascinates me the most and so you see a lot of them designed under my brand too.
3. What type of woman did you envision when designing the collection?
My designs are meant for the woman of today who aspire to be independent, creative and at the same time deeply feminine. Yes, I do consider this aspect while working on my designs because my designs are meant for the women who are modern but at the same time deeply connected to and appreciative of their roots and culture.
4. Were you confident about its marketability when you first came up with the elaborate collection?
While designing I enjoy thinking freely and like to follow my instincts without constraining myself and my thoughts by thinking of things such as marketability.
5. What serves as your inspiration when starting with a piece or collection?
My creative instincts and love for nature and handicraft have forever been my inspiration for all of my collections.
6. What does your new collection look like?
My latest collection Jardin d’Eden (Garden of Eden), features an array of bespoke pieces, from stunning body-harnesses to necklaces, signature bracelets to earrings, making them perfect for any occasion, from engagements to weddings, birthday gifts, or sheer self-indulgence. It uses handcrafted fibres with metallic elements and like the original Garden of Eden; it aims to be the guilty pleasure for every woman.
7. Any specific pieces or trends to look out for?
Body harness, as it’s my masterpiece and the first piece I created using artificial ivory bird and flowers.
8. What metals have you worked with?
In my latest collection, I used copper and brass plated with either gold or silver.
9. What techniques dominate your collection?
My collection displays fabulous craftsmanship of the Bengali artisans with intricate design detailing. Keeping the environment in mind, I use synthetic ivory, which is not only eco-friendly but adds charm to the jewellery and truly stands by the ‘beauty without cruelty’ motto. Each of my hand-crafted piece makes for a treasured keepsake that can be handed down through generations.
10. Could you throw some light on the entire process of creating a piece of jewellery, right from conceptualizing the idea to the final product?
Regarding my designing process, I will say I like travelling and collecting raw material which I can use to create interesting jewellery. I usually don’t restrict my creativity by using a particular kind of material. I then sit with these raw materials and do a lot of permutations and combinations to create a collection. I am bad at drawing so to explain my ideas to my fellow craftsmen I end up sitting in the workshop where I physically make the pieces, which is actually great, as it broadens my horizon in terms of design possibilities.
11. One Bollywood celebrity you think can do utmost justice to each one of your pieces
Sonam Kapoor. I think she can carry any piece of jewellery with utmost elegance.
12. One piece of jewellery that you suggest every woman must own?
I would actually suggest two must-haves to every woman… Chandbalis and Golden Jhumkas.
13. What would you say is the biggest jewellery trend of the season?
Sustainable fashion, I feel, is the biggest trend and the need of the hour. As it happens, my very recent collection is a sustainable one with eco-friendly materials.