The words edgy, unorthodox, and bohemian aptly define the aesthetics of Mumbai-based Bhavya Ramesh’s eponymous silver jewellery label. Rooted in opulent Indianness, her catalogue is unconventional — on it are lip, ear and palm cuffs, ear hangs, joint rings, nail rings and crowns, hair harnesses and clips. And sunglasses too.
“I want to change how jewellery is perceived. Buying jewellery meant ‘let’s go buy gold!’ I want people to enjoy jewellery for its design and functionality!” says Bhavya.
She is echoing the design philosophy of a young wave of indie designers, behind labels such as Quirksmith, Flying Fish Accessories and Oonth Studio, who are expressing themselves in highly stylised ways. At their hands, silver jewellery has acquired a bold and modern identity identity. Desi motifs like paisleys and parrots, leaves and flowers meet kites, safety pins, nibs, bugs, and pinwheels. All made with techniques rooted in traditional Indian jewellery-making.
“Silver is my canvas,” says Bhavya, who launched her label in 2018, and recently opened a self-designed concept store at Kalaghoda, Mumbai. Her studio is in Jaipur, where visitors can see the karigars working. “Although jewellery is culturally entwined with our lives, its making has always been very ‘underground’. Only the commercial aspect is shown, I want to show how it is done and the craftsmanship that goes into it,” she states.
Making a statement via jewellery was unintentional, confesses the engineer-turned-jewellery designer. Her label is known for bold pieces, like Bhavya Ramesh nail crowns, slipped over the nails [some even cover the fingers]. Their popularity came as a surprise, “I keep my nails very short, so, I thought, why not make jewellery inspired by it — nail crowns. I didn’t think it would become popular. The true