BUILDING A CONTEMPORARY IDENTITY FOR JEWELLERY DESIGN ROOTED IN ASIAN HERITAGE. 采撷亚洲文化精华 塑造珠宝设计的现代身份。
I have a thing for jewellery, and I definitely have a big thing for Indian jewellery. I guess it’s because it’s bold, because it’s eye-catching and it tells me a story of a culture which is far away from my own, and yet so attractive. Moreover, I am a sucker for independent designers – they have that extra drive that makes them so brave and irresponsible in such a special (and cool) way.
I love Vyshnavi, and I totally love her brand Dvibhumi her creations – unique pieces of jewellery she designs in Singapore, where she moved a few years ago from her native India. We met for coffee and while my cappuccino got colder and colder, I couldn’t stop listening to her story – it just reminded me that everything is possible, and that we are all creators of our own destiny.
After working in advertisement for 10 years, she decided to follow her passion and started designing jewellery. We discussed about this and much more.
You left your advertisement job to be a jewellery designer. Was the transition smooth?
It happened naturally. During my 10 years in advertising I developed a very deep cultural understanding of what’s around me. My business trips brought me around India and South-East Asia and I learned about the art, architecture, fashion and local customs and traditions of these regions. In a way it was not too difficult to transform all this knowledge into beautiful pieces women from all over the world could wear.
Which role did Singapore play in this process?
Moving here meant starting a new journey of discovery and self-awareness in a country where nobody had any kind of expectations from me. Singapore is also a medley of cultures, and tradition and modernity and this was hugely influential in shaping my concepts.
What are you focusing on right now?
I’m currently focusing on the right partnerships: with retailers, key customers and scouting for workshops. I want to find the right channels to fuel the interest about my pieces and my brand. I travel to Indonesia and India to establish collaborations and I hope to expand my search to other parts of Asia, so that my work can tap into the best local craftsmanship.
Tell me more about the relationship of Dvibhumi with artisans.
I developed 3 collections so far: Kutcheri, Ayu, Vibhuti. For every collection I worked with different workshops across Asia. I hope to establish new relationships from time to time. After all it is the artisans with their amazing skills who make every single piece a unique work of art. I depend on them for the beauty of the earrings I design.
迄今为止，我们一共推出了三个系列的产品：Kutcheri, Ayu, Vibhuti。每一个系列我们和全亚洲不同的工作室合作，期待与新的工作室建立合作关系。他们杰出的技术让每一件作品都独一无二，因此我完全信任他们可以完美实现我的耳饰设计。
What is Carnatic Music and how can it become a source of inspiration?
The Kutcheri story has evolved from the iconic ornamentation style of great Indian Classical musicians like MS Subbulakshmi. Currently, it offers a range of ear jackets inspired by the seven stone diamond stud that she famously wore as earrings and nose pins. The aesthetic world of Indian Classical music – its rhythm, subject matter, theory, sartorial aspects – will continue to shape new chapters in the Kutcheri Story.
Where did you learn how to design jewellery?
Everything I have learnt has been on the job. I don’t have any formal training in jewellery design. I just gave it space, and I’m learning by doing – also, I couldn’t be doing this if it was not for the artisans I work with.
What’s your ambition for Dvibhumi and forAsian jewellery in general?
When people think of what to wear, I want jewellery to lead, and clothes to follow – at least once in a while. I would like people all over the world to get more comfortable and familiar with Asian design that is rooted in heritage and not pigeonhole it as exotic or traditional.
And I can so relate to Vyshnavi – we both left a stable and comfortable situation to embark on a journey where passion and willpower are the only tools we have to succeed. And we are both self-taught – day after day we become more confident and more aware of what’s around us.
Our chat was lovely – and I’m about to wear my Abhogi ear jacket tonight. As they are a modern day ode to the iconic ornamentation style of the great divas of Carnatic Music, I’ll feel a bit like MS Subbulakshmi. And I can’t wait for that feeling.
Gli orecchini che Vyshanvi disegna a Singapore sono bellissimi, e hanno quel gusto esotico ma urbano che oggi le donne cercano in un gioiello. Il suo sogno e’ che un giorno non lontano la scelta dell’outfit parta proprio dagli accessori piuttosto che dagli abiti. L’ho rassicurata – io sono già un bel pezzo avanti.
For the chat with Vyshnavi at Oriole Cafe in Singapore I was delighted to wear:
Red tee: American Apparel
striped skirt: Zara
Sneakers: Converse All Star
运动鞋：Converse All Star
Bangles 手镯: Kate Spade
The picture of us together was taken with my Sony NEX-5T.
For all the other pictures, special thanks to Dvibhumi.
Translation by Jasmine Wang.