They say, you are, in a sense, the company you keep. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of a setting, an environment, an atmosphere that is befitting a creation in a way that it enhances the overall aura and appeal of the creation and the ingenuity that has gone into it. When I decided to craft two brands of my own, I looked earnestly for a setting that would provide an environment that the Kanjivaram and the jewellery richly deserved to be showcased in, along with a spot that echoed the very values of luxury as I see it – time and space.
I think setting in the context of jewellery is a lot like that. What you see when you see a piece of jewellery is a coming together of design that is a happy marriage of form and function. And setting is an integral indicator of the overall aesthetic.
There was a time when close setting was among the most common; it was a time when diamonds were the privilege of a few communities, and the nature of the setting required the use of 22 karat gold that was polished in a way that it enhanced the sparkle of the diamonds. And then, a decade later, the diamond revolution came by. It was all about the diamonds, its size, its sparkle, its sheen… And as a result of that obsession, the setting took a different turn; the prong setting over layered with rhodium meant that the yellow of the gold became insignificant and gave way to the white of the diamond.
As a designer, and every designer has a preference when it comes to choice of settings and metals, I’m a big fan of the gold. I also enjoy the interplay of the gold and the gem and how the two come together to tell a story. I was influenced a great deal by the European style of jewels that used the bezel setting that allowed me to hold in place a stone or a gem with a lip encircling and overlapping the edges of the stone/gem.
I discuss setting because I often wonder how by merely influencing the setting, and making a few critical decisions on the proportion between the inside and the outside, it is possible to craft an expression that is so distinct and beautiful. But mind you, setting is also very dependent on who is wearing it; after all, I created Kingsley because I believed the Kanjivaram deserved a setting of this sort! And what you wear, is really who you are.
- Ahalya S