Srinagar was once, back in its day when it was at its prime, the centre of fashion and style, education, sports and culture. It is still a very forward looking, ahead of its time City. With tourism being at its peak during the 1960’s, the Indian film Industry had the majority of their location shoots based in Kashmir. International celebrities and politicians would flock to stay at the finest Houseboats located on Dal Lake where they would be able to see just how beautiful this place & its people really were.
Srinagar, being the capital of Kashmir, a hub of culture and style; its foundation was that of a heritage of crafts. Artisans grew and emerged here with patience, articulation, creativity and most of all an eye for beauty and their trade. The world had seen a glimpse of Kashmir’s beauty & craft back in the 1950’s when the famous photographer Norman Parkinson did a whole location shoot on Dal Lake for Vogue with Anne Gunning & Barbara Mullen.
In 1962, David Bailey followed suit with another location shoot yet again on the Dal with Penelope Tree for Vogue. One of the most famous images of Penelope Tree is where she had worn a Kashmiri headdress complete with over sized earrings and dramatic eyes pertinent to the 60’s.
More close to home was the Bollywood industry, releasing movies with amazing locations shoots in Kashmir during the 1960’s. Sharmila Tagore was at the centre of these films as she played her role as a Kashmiri girl in the the unforgettable ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’. She wore traditional Kashmiri clothes along with the typical silver headdress and earrings. I absolutely adore these images of Penelope Tree & Sharmila Tagore, they are both classic & iconic in every way.
For me, this was something that I just had to rekindle; through my love for jewellery, style and fashion. A revival of traditional Kashmiri jewellery was needed, and that is just what I did. My Bridal Collection highlights the traditional tribal jewellery, like the headdress and earrings, which I have made sure are more wearable.
This worldly delight of cultures and styles merging into one as, fashion and art. This is something that I feel reflects so much more than just a colour, design or image. There is a whole process that goes on behind the scenes which we don’t really get to see a fraction of, in-depth. My design process is also based on this; research, ideas, thoughts, perceptions, images. The list goes on.
I carefully collate my mood boards which highlight and help so much to visualise my thought process when I am in the midst of my research when designing a new collection. Inspiration from all kinds of work, art, countries, people, textures, songs, music, colours, props, culture, words. There are no boundaries when it comes to my inspiration. The list is endless and it is mine to work through. It is my whole thought process which ultimately grows with me and showcases itself into my pieces. I love what I do and have been working hard on reviving Kashmiri Jewellery by designing timeless, classic and contemporary pieces, each with a story from me, just for you.