Style & Innovation

Romancing the Stone

Anaita Shroff Adajania on her changing relationship with jewellery.

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Image via artist | Jewellery: Artist's own

Not all jewellery is created equal. There are pieces that I have loved and continue to love from the moment I’ve received them, and there are others that I’ve either disliked and then come to appreciate later, and some that I now wonder to myself why I even bought them in the first place.

My relationship with jewellery is personal, and as ever changing and evolving as I am.

Image via artist | Jewellery: Artist’s own

Simply the Best
When I was seven years old my grandfather gifted me an Art Deco inspired natural diamond necklace set for my Navjote (a Parsi coming-of-age ceremony). From the moment I laid eyes on it I was in love: The delicate baguette-cut diamonds surrounding luscious deep green emeralds – it has an old-world charm. Decades later, nothing has changed, it was and always will be my favourite piece that I continue to wear often.

Changing my Tune
My likes and dislikes are cyclical. When I was 25, I was given a pair of thick silver anklets by my half-British, half-Portuguese flatmate for Christmas. It was surprising how well he knew me – they were the sort of present that I never knew I wanted but were so right that soon after I found that I couldn’t live without them. I wore them every day for years. I recently rediscovered them at the back of my cupboard after 20 years and I love them once again, trying to figure out how to style them to work with my current dressing sense.

Image via artist | Jewellery: Artist’s own

One Piece, Many Ways
As a stylist I often experiment with my clothes and jewellery – trying to find a different way to wear them. My most versatile piece of jewellery was given to me by my mother-in-law when I was in my twenties. It is a gold link-chain necklace with different sized guineas (gold coins) hanging off it. I wear it around my neck, doubled around my wrist, with casual clothing, to more formal events, on the beach and to work – it is the perfect accompaniment to any and every outfit. 

Image via artist | Jewellery: Artist’s own

An Enduring Favourite
My clothes and jewels are an extension to my personality, and I’ve always favoured layering. With necklaces I love to combine ultra-long chains with short ones, some plain and some set with natural diamonds – wearing two, three and sometimes, even four, around my neck. I love how they can instantly dress up an outfit and lift a mood. They give me a sense of strength, even to this day, whenever I feel low, I layer on a few, add a couple of stacks of rings and bracelets, and I instantly feel empowered. 

With necklaces I love to combine ultra-long chains with short ones, some plain and some set with natural diamonds – wearing two, three and sometimes, even four, around my neck. I love how they can instantly dress up an outfit and lift a mood.

Greatest Mistake
Like everyone, I have made mistakes with jewellery. I went through a phase where I loved cocktail rings – huge, bulbous ones set with oversized stones, natural diamonds and embellishments, which, when I tried them on in the store look stunning, but when I wore them, I felt like I couldn’t use my hands naturally, it was as if my fingers were constantly spread out. And, when my husband would hold my hand, the ring would press against the sides of my fingers injuring me! Today these have been relegated to be used only for photo shoots and short evenings.

Wardrobe – Ankita Dharman, Vanda Fashion Agency | Jewellery: Earrings – A S Motiwala Fine Jewellery
Wardrobe – JENN | Jewellery: Bangles, necklace, ring – Anmol Jewellers, Heart-shaped necklace – Artist’s own

Lessons
Today I have a more practical approach towards jewellery. It’s no longer about saving up for one big piece, rather I prefer to find diamond designs that I can enjoy every day. I’m also constantly on the lookout for young designers – we’re blessed to be in India where upcoming designers are creating unique and fashion-forward high jewellery pieces using the age-old knowledge of jewellery making that the country is known for. Lastly, I make it a point to always stand out, for example, if I’m buying a tennis bracelet, I wouldn’t buy a traditional one, set with brilliant-cut diamonds, rather I’d look for unusual diamond cuts or settings.

I’ve gone through personal phases with jewellery, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s to stay true to yourself. Mix it up and go with what works with your personality – your jewellery wardrobe is just as, if not more, important than your fashion wardrobe.