Farah Khan Ali is a well-known jewellery designer and gemologist who graduated from the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California in 1992.
In a short span, the Farah Khan label has become synonymous for setting high standards in style, quality, detailing, design and elegance. Her fine Jewellery brand has been by adorned by many international celebrities like Beyonce and Serena Williams as well as bollywood beauties like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and many more.
All her pieces are manufactured in-house, thus maintaining a stringent quality control and check on every piece that is manufactured.
Recipient and winner of many jewellery awards including the “Outstanding Women Achievers Award by FICCI” in April 2014 and “Women entrepreneur of the year 2015” by The Gem and Jewellery Trade Council of India (GJTCI), Farah Khan Ali was also featured in the Black Book 2015 among the top 100 influential people in Indian Luxury. Her jewellery is recognized globally for its superior design, quality and craftsmanship.
In conversation with Guardian 20, Farah Khan Ali speaks about her passion for designing and recent jewellery trends in fashion industry.
Talking about her career in jewellery designing, Farah says, “Having completed my college, it was more of what I wanted to do next. I did not want to act in films and had tried interior designing as my mother was a renowned interior designer. I even tried ad film and television production but somehow I had yet not found my calling and my parents were seriously worried for me as they believed that as a woman I needed to have a career of my own. Many opportunities came knocking at my door when a friend of mine was going to the USA for a course in Gemology at the Gemological Institute of America and asked if I wanted to come along. Frankly I had never heard of the term “Gemology” before this.
But as they say, someone up there had other plans for me and as I learned on the very first day of my class, that “Gemology” was the study of the chemical, optical and physical properties of 99 minerals and their gemstone varieties. My hard work and determination eventually paid off and I topped my class with 97%, which I eventually followed up with a jewellery design course after which I returned to India. That was the start of my career as a jewellery designer.”
About her designs, Farah says, “My designs are flamboyant, ornate and alive. I am not just a jewellery designer and gemologist, but I am also an artist of masterpieces and an orator of stories.
My designs are conceived in my over active imagination that allows me the freedom to make the impossible possible. I narrate my tales of inspiration, and craftsmanship within my bejeweled jewellery theatre and celebrate the woman of today who is feminine yet strong, graceful yet determined. It is for a woman who is beautiful inside out.”
Farah on her uniqueness and style statement, says “My design aesthetics come from my creative background and I view the world in a magical perspective where I find design wherever I go. I am attracted to beauty and any form that captivates me, spurs me to design and capture that inanimate thought into a 3 dimensional object of beauty, one that will outlive its wearer and go down generations in time making precious priceless. My designs begin with a thought that is created by an emotion or incident that captivates your senses and wants you to explore that further by giving life to it.”
Farah likes to work with different materials. Talking about her favourite material she says, “I love working with colour. So, coloured gemstones like emeralds, rubies, tanzanites, sapphires, etc. appeals to me and diamonds. Unusual cuts in carvings, cabochon and faceted gemstones with high lustre and transparency attracts me. I usually work with 18 karat gold.”
Speaking about the current jewellery trend, she says, “Currently women are playing with coloured gemstones instead of only diamonds. Cocktail rings, chandelier earrings and handcuffs are currently in fashion. There has been a massive increase in tanzanites this season. Brides to be as well as young working professionals are enticed with statement rings and earrings of this particular gemstone.”
Talking about her favourite colours , she says, “I like colours such as yellow, green, blue, pink, red etc. I like to create colourful pieces and my favourite gemstone is emerald.”
She also has a piece of advice for young girls who likes to experiment with their jewellery. She says, “Buy jewellery that you can mix and match effectively. Create your own individual style statement. Wear the jewellery, don’t let the jewellery wear you. Everyone is unique so what looks good on your friend may not look good on you and vice versa.”
According to Farah, Sonam Kapoor is the most stylish icon in Bollywood. “I would say all of them but favourite stylish icon would be Sonam Kapoor with her penchant for fashion.” She adds.
About her recent collections, she says, “I have just launched a new collection called “Ornati.” I have designed “Ornati” collection exclusively for Caratlane.com and it is a designer line of jewellery for everyday indulgence. It will suit the young professional who wants to wear stylish jewellery on a daily basis. This collection is fun, fashionable and funky. I am also looking forward to expanding my brand Farah Khan fine jewellery across the country and planning to launch new stores.” She concludes.