When I wrote the editor’s letter for the first-ever Trend Report for the Natural Diamond Council in India in 2021, I reflected on connections. Together apart seemed like a theme in our everyday lives. While it was a struggle, those testing times also gifted us a sense of gratitude. This year has been similar and yet entirely different. We did a peculiar one step forward two steps backward dance as we oscillated between third waves, new variants, celebrations, and travel. There was a renewed desire to see, and be seen. A longing for renewal. And it is perhaps this desire to find singularity and distinctiveness that has allowed the natural diamond to find a place in the everyday. Worn with insouciance and irreverence, the stone is more personal, more powerful.
Which is why our trends this season are varied and vast. From the hoop with a twist — where the shape moves from the circle to a heart — to an abundance of vintage cut diamonds, be it the briolette or the rose cut diamond, the new rule is simple. There are no rules. Mismatched, clashing, complementary, the couplings are unusual, as if a new love story is being written every time. This renaissance comes from a desire to feel alive. Equally it comes tinged with nostalgia. For a time when everything was simpler and less complicated. Why else would we love our heirlooms, pieces from our grandmother’s cupboard but set in a modern manner.
The Style Collective discussed these contradictions and celebrated them. From Zoom calls late at night, to special guests in the form of beautiful babies, we agreed that the last year had created a special connection with the natural diamond. We all felt as if our lives had been played out in our jewellery. Her Royal Highness Maharani Radhikaraje Gaekwad of Baroda, a historian, writer and authority on Indian jewellery, braved load shedding to talk about the new pieces her daughters love. Award-winning actor Aditi Rao Hydari continued to favour the chaand baali. Film producer Rhea Kapoor shared the stories behind her wedding jewellery and her plans for her mother’s diamonds. Katerina Perez, trained gemologist, freelance journalist and content editor, talked about an explosion of new talent and Sarah Royce Greensill, Jewellery and Watches Editor at The Telegraph UK, was all about the heart hoop. Designer Bibhu Mohapatra met the women in his family — his ancestors for generations — through the jewellery his mother inherited and stored in a red potli, while Roohi Jaikishan spoke about the way travel shapes her approach to fashion and jewellery.
With each conversation, I realised that we were now travelling with our diamonds, stashing them in our bags and wearing them every time we wanted to tell or alter our story. It also brought into focus why I chose to buy a pair of real diamond earrings exactly like the ones my grandmother had — except the pearls at the end were mismatched. As always I am reminded of the strong women in my life. I can almost see my grandmother and mother with their bouffants, impeccable sarees and tight-fitted kurtas, looking incredibly glamorous as they sit outside, basking in the afternoon sun, their faces turned to the light. Their eyes are shaded with their dark glasses, yet they are impossibly incandescent as their jewellery catches the light. My nani and my mother wore day diamonds. Up until the night.
The second trend report brought to you by the Natural Diamond Council of India is storied. Much like our lives have been. The sparkle is a reflection of the best that is yet to come. That is waiting for us as we allow ethically sourced natural diamonds to find ourselves.