A true lover of antique lore, conventional art and gypsy receptivity, jewellery designer Suhani Pittie creates designs which are melting point of time zones. With an intention to create unforgettable designs, she allows her ideas to evolve from emotions, movements and expressions which are ingrained in the unconsciousness.
In conversation with indianexpress.com, the diligent designer talks about much-applauded LFW’s finale collection, her connection with tribal India and how far wearability and cultural connotation matters to her.
Tell us about your jewellery designing aesthetics of.
(Smiles) Confirming in a non-conforming way. Unapologetically individualistic. Born in India with an Indian heart, but belongs to the world culture.
What was so unique and special about Anamika Khanna’s ‘Sculpt’ collection?
I took the theme sculpt and presented it in its raw form. Like how when you sculpt anything you begin with nothingness, it is just a hazy picture and then things start taking shape. So, I took this hazy picture and started sculpting and presented its form at different moments. So there were wires, and then wire sculptures in progress and then wires finished into a finished piece.
Talk about the inspiration and idea behind the collection used for Anamika’s show.
Anamika and I somehow think alike. She utters a word and things start taking shape in my mind. All she told me was the theme i.e. ‘sculpt’ and it’s all yours. So my inspiration was really this word and her trust.
How do you approach a new collection? Where do your ideas evolve from?
Emotions, movements and expressions – It begins with the first impression which is initially vivid; gradually it becomes intense and then it slowly gets ingrained into the unconsciousness. I like to collect these feelings, memories, connections and observations. These raw, colourful, sensuous and ancient customs merged and blended with new forces inspire me. My personal stories inspire me. Every collection that I have done has been my story or the story of something that has had a personal effect on me.
Your designs are very much inspired and have connection with tribal India, talk about it.
I am besotted by India. In fact I think besotted is a much underfed term for what I feel towards our country. And I am not talking just about the cultural heritage or arts and craft it has to offer. I am talking about the country as a whole. Tribes are very inherent part of the composition of our country. I find it fascinating as to how they live in the toughest of situations yet have undying faith in say the sun god or mother earth or their own values. I think we Indians are emotionally very strong. We have our battles everyday but I think the emotional quotient we have allows us to tide over these battles. The tribes inspire me with that undying faith.
What made you play with metals like copper and steel, rather than going with precious metals and stones?
These metals allow me to have fun. I am not daunted by the finance, the price points and the market value. For me as an artist they allow me to have an unending canvas.
How is the taste of Indian luxe customer evolving?
Design is the numero uno consideration now.
How different is it to design for the celebrity client and for the masses?
Not different at all. The client has undergone such a metamorphosis that today their clarity about personal dislikes and likes is above all. This privilege/ exposure is not just with the well-travelled celebrities. With the number of fashion blogs and websites being catered to us, today people sitting in office can know about the trends ruling at Paris fashion week. Everything is available at the click of a button. So every client is my hero because they are the trendsetter in their own right. They add their own value and personality to the piece. To me any wearer who has mind of own and is not a victim of trends is a hero.
How far wearability and cultural connotation matters to you as a designer?
Oh massively. What’s the point of creating jewellery if it does not resonate an aspirational love in someone’s eyes? Unless I am asked to create ‘madness’ in an instigative way, much like some pieces in the sculpt project. And the cultural dialogue is ALWAYS present in my work. I don’t like to create forgettable things. Every creation has a story and dialogue that they convey.
Tell us about the processing of your jewellery.
I always design directly on the metal sheet and keep making changes in terms of additions, subtractions as the work progresses. It’s as simple as that. But every process carries my emotion with it.
Why did you decide to work on contemporary designs only?
What I create is actually a melting point of time zones. So while there is a bit of the heritage India there will always be a bit of modern India as well because the need of the hour is the melting point of diversities. Contemporary means radical, a constant work in progress to depict what has been, albeit in your own way. My work is definitely a constant representation of that juxtaposition.
What’s next? What’s your vision for the label?
Talking pure business, my target is to grow by 250% by the end of this financial year. Our business is growing great, so I am looking at tripling the workforce and increase production capacity by 300%. I am a dreamer. I have grand visions and plans for the business. But I have to make sure I have the production capacity and the management to support. So that’s first.