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In Conversation with Sunita Shekhawat

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Ever since it was launched in 2000, Sunita Shekhawat Jaipur became synonymous with modernising the craft of meenakari while retaining its traditional essence. The brand’s founder, Sunita Shekhawat, came to be dubbed as the ‘modern meenakar’, innovating with colours and designs to enhance the appeal of this time-honoured craft from her hometown of Jaipur, giving it a contemporary update. Her singular aesthetic resonated with modern brides looking to marry tradition with a global outlook. screenshot_2019_06_1_HPji7

Ahead of her presence at the Aashni+Co trunk show on 15th June 2019 at Four Seasons Park Lane, she talks to us about her latest collection, jewellery shopping, and a lot more: “We are very thrilled to be associated with Aashni +Co, London’s most sought-after destinations for luxury Indian fashion. This collaboration is a great way for us to meet our brides in the city. Our collection at the trunk show is a blend of exquisite-grade pearls and polkis spruced with eclectic gems.” 

Your work is best known for modernising meenakari. What draws you to it and what are your latest innovations with the craft?

The richness of the craft of meenakari is incomparable as the process remains the same as it was 500 years ago. Even today, a meenakari artefact goes through the same assembly line of craftsmen as it used to back in the day. We as a label, have taken it upon ourselves to restore, revive and reinvent it with a modern lens, while simultaneously pushing boundaries and expectations. We imbue this freshness through vibrant colour palettes and new silhouettes. screenshot_2019_06_1_cmx6A

Our limited edition collection ‘Kalika’ plays with ideas of positive and negative space in rare black enamel jewellery. The colour black is a bold and unconventional choice for the modern bride. When enhanced with gold, diamonds and polkis, it stands out and epitomises the balance between modern and traditional aesthetics.

Since you launched the brand, how have you seen the Indian jewellery connoisseur evolve?

Brides now are looking for jewellery that is uniquely unconventional but still embraces Indian roots.  While brides want a minimalistic look, they do not want to be underdressed for their big day either. The ultimate aim is to be elegant yet subtle.  One of the most popular requests we receive is to customise family heirlooms — modifying old classics with a modern touch retains the jewellery’s emotional value but also creates a unique piece. screenshot_2019_06_1_QULaD

Top must-haves for wedding season this year?

Cooler hues are a must-have, especially meenakari in shades of turquoise. Our ‘Firoza’ collection is a beautiful assortment of turquoise enamel meenakari paired with pearls and polkis on a base of 22kt gold. Gemstones in cooler hues such as deep aquamarine and tanzanite paired with perfectly graded pearls make for trousseau winners. screenshot_2019_06_1_tr5Ud

Your top tips for fine jewellery shopping?

Bridal jewellery ends up serving as memories of your big day down the line. Wearability and functionality are the most important components to look for, and we build our signature pieces around them too. You should be able to take your bridal jewellery beyond your wedding functions. Opt for reversible and detachable designs like shoulder dusters-cum-studs, or inter-changeable earrings-cum-pendants. Do not buy based on one theme alone. Open yourself to multiple options — it’s always better to have a versatile collection than a narrow-minded one. screenshot_2019_06_1_6RreX

RSVP to the trunk show with Sunita Shekhawat Jaipur here.