Nirav Modi’s fine jewellery store has, for the past year, been an established part of Defence Colony’s burgeoning fashion presence in the capital. They launched their standalone store on Madison Avenue in New York last month, the first Indian jeweller to have a store there. While Modi’s designer jewellery belongs strictly to the luxury segment, his designs and execution have a definite artistic flair that elevates them to beyond just jewellery.
The opening of the New York store — and a Hong Kong one too — was accompanied by three new collections, called Embrace, Mughal, and Fluire, all of which are available in New Delhi as well.
As a jeweller, Modi has devised ways to use as little metal on a piece of diamond jewellery as possible, thus accentuating the emphasis on the diamond’s shine — something he pushes forth in his works. Most of Modi’s jewellery displays only the diamond; the finish ensures that the metal isn’t visible where the jewels are interlocked. In fact, from a distance, the jewellery often seems like a sea of diamonds. The brand subscribes to the more stringent GI certified category when it comes to diamonds; the minimum carat that their solitaires begin at is 40 points.
The different collections all feature exquisite cuts for solitaires as well as refaceted cuts such as the rose cut in ample amounts. Of the new collections, the Celestial features refaceted rose cuts, while there are D-cuts in the Mughal collection, both of which unique to the brand. The designs ensure dimension and depth in the works.
That depth gets highlighted further through the personal stories behind each collection. For instance, the Infinite Knot collection has never-ending love as its inspiration, while the Mughal collection is inspired from Mughal miniatures, and the Orchestra collection has designs informed from musical notes, reminiscent of the auteur’s distant childhood dream of becoming an orchestra conductor. Common to all of them, of course, is the intricate work. The Luminance displays a pendant on a chain, with a single solitaire in the middle shining from all angles. Similarly, it has an earring with an equally embellished back, catching instantly grabbing attention.
Another one of their iconic bangles is the Embrace, studded with tiny bangles all over. Inspiration for Embrace struck Modi when he saw his daughter playing with rubber bands. The bangle has 700 interlocking parts that are invisible from the surface, making the bangle flexible for each arm. It takes a craftsman a month to create one bangle. The same collection is also available in rings and earrings. The rings can be stacked up, and are made of three kinds of gold: yellow, white and rose.
The Fluire collection, on the other hand, has a mix of white and yellow diamonds, a rare gem. The weight of the diamonds is more than the weight of the gold in the rings of the collection — a tought feat to achieve in terms of craftsmanship. The Sunrise collection is again inspired from the art deco movement of New York. The striking nature of the collection is highlighted by its size and sheer charisma, as well as the stylish elevated spokes of the ring. The spokes have movement and feature both white and yellow diamonds, slowly moving from a gold sheen into white radiance. The Fluire collection’s ring is again dynamic, with flowers inspired from jasmines offering dimension and bringing out the sparkle.
Embrace is the newest collection, but the store often adds new styles to the existing 20 collections. The Lotus collection has white and rose gold fused together. Each part is cast separately in it, since the whole collection has a lot of layers, and each part is then carefully fused together at the back of the jewel.
The Mughal collection may indeed be inspired from Mughal aesthetics, but it’s a take on that perspective, an interpretation of sorts. Micro power weight diamonds are surrounded by a refaceted D-cut to simulate Mughal inlay work. The diamonds are inlaid within an outer framework.
That approach is what sets apart a lot of his work. Modi’s jewellery has a contemporary aesthetic, with designs distinct from the more traditional works that most Indian jewellers tend to offer. His designs ensure movement in the jewellery, and it doesn’t subscribe to