Long before I launched my signature line of jewellery, I was pushing the boundaries of design and redefining form through my work at Tanishq. A cherished project I worked on with the team at Tanishq, were the crowns to be made for The-Femina-Miss-India 2006-2007 beauty pageants. The crowns were to be designed for Miss India Universe and Miss India Earth and Miss India World.
I like every piece of mine to tell a story and as a young woman given the task to redesign an iconic statement, I thought I must move away from the traditional tiara crown and give it more meaning to the wearer. Designs that would embody all that the pageant stood for, in it’s avant-garde approach and yet retain an Indian sensibility.
I translated the auspicious tilak-ceremony to celebrate victory, a traditional Indian ritual of applying vermillion to the forehead, into the Miss Universe crown with the large red stone. But there’s more. This crown draws its form from the galaxies in which the delicate strands with precious crystals radiate out like shooting comets and the red stone drop not only signifies the tilak but also the cosmic energy held together at the centre. Strong and fierce imagery encapsulated in design and form.
Our national bird, portrayed in its full glory of dance, this layered crown came together beautifully for the winner of the Miss India title.
I believe every piece of jewellery I design must be functional and here too some smart engineering went into the design of the crown, on the way it sits on the head of the wearer. When doing my research for the design, I had spoken to past winners and asked them what it was about their special moment that they remembered most about the crown. And the ladies told me that their crowns would keep toppling in the excitement and movement on stage. So functionality was worked into both crowns with a special clip mechanism that made the crowns fit perfectly and snugly on the winners.
Each one garnered a lot of appreciation in the translating of the Indian motif and the ethos of the contest, into a crown.