A member of the Natural Diamond Council Style Collective, Rhea Kapoor’s creative vision and relationship with jewellery, natural diamonds in particular, shaped our Trend Report for 2022.
How does your personal style reflect your relationship with the world around you? In my early 20s, I was trying to find myself — and that journey of discovery and adventure happened through my personal style. It also meant that for a while I was dressing for other people. It made me look at the world as a mirror to my insecurities or my highs and lows. Now, in my 30s, it informs my day, my state of mind. It is my zone of confidence, comfort, and whatever makes me feel most like myself in a particular moment. There are days where I push myself to dress up in a particular way, and that in turn makes me feel up for any challenge the day may bring. My style has always been balanced on a tightrope between modern and traditional, and that has also shaped me as a stylist.
What have you learned about the art of wearing jewellery from your mother? She taught me the value of craftsmanship, of history, essentially the value of things that last, whether it’s a relationship or a piece of jewellery that can be handed down from my nani to my mom to me and then to my child or niece or nephew. What I have learned is responsible luxury. How to value pieces that aren’t trendy, to see them for what they will be five or 15 years from now. It’s about having a sense of vision of where your life is going to go and how you will feel when you wear or pass down a particular piece.
With your wedding in the midst of a pandemic, how did you cultivate a spirit of hope and joy? Karan and I had been dating for 13 years. Since my parents are traditional, we had never lived together; it was rare that we even went on vacation together. We reached a point where we simply wanted to start a life together. We had seen each other at our best and worst, so I understood that the ceremony or celebration itself didn’t matter as much as the fact that we were getting married. That was sacred to me, and I held on to that and to our memories and relationship.
When it came to your wedding jewellery, what factors were the most important to you? Everything I wore at my wedding is a modern heirloom. I didn’t want to wear anything at my wedding that I couldn’t give to my daughter at some point. The only piece I acquired was a vintage pearl veil that takes years to make. All the other pieces I wore, made with natural diamonds and South Sea pearls, were designed and owned by my mother. Because they have been valuable to her over time, and not just bought for an occasion, I know I will love them forever. That’s what’s unique about jewellery — even though it is valuable, the more hands and souls it passes through, the more invaluable it becomes.
Tell us about a piece of jewellery that is particularly meaningful to you. It’s a string of diamond solitaires that Karan gifted me as a wedding present. He had been thinking of giving it to me for a while and it caught me by surprise. We have known each other since we were children and gifting jewellery had never been a part of that equation! Natural diamond solitaires will never go out of style. They are always chic, always elegant. A diamond will always make you cry with happiness! And I know I can build on this piece for years to come.
Who is your style icon? There are so many! Katherine Hepburn will always be one of the greatest. My sister Sonam — not that she is a ‘style icon’, but I admire her willingness to take risks; it isn’t easy in this industry. And Rihanna for life. She is the only original of this generation.