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Breathing life into metal

Kazuo Ogawa's designs are clearly evocative of the ancient traditions of many lands even as they are interestingly contemporary


DISPLAYING ITS newest collection by Japanese designer Kazuo Ogawa last week, Ganjam by Design, held an interactive session for some of its customers, with the designer, giving them tips to wear the jewellery. Talking of types of earrings and necklaces to suit different attires, the designer commented on what jewellery suits different face shapes and hairstyles, thus making the entire experience of wearing jewellery more meaningful for the wearer.

Says Mr. G.B. Umesh, Joint Managing Director, Ganjam: "Customers are investing more and more into jewellery than ever before. They don't want to buy and keep it, but wear it as a fashion accessory. They have become intelligent and smarter in choosing the jewellery." Which is why, Ganjam's new collection is not likely to disappoint them. Showcasing jewellery in both, gold and platinum, the designs by Kazuo Ogawa, uses unique stones and designs, interesting forms, colours, and materials, resulting in ensembles aimed at both, the young and the senior age group of jewellery purchasers.

New designs

Mr. Umesh, who has worked with Kazuo Ogawa since 2000, and hopes to bring in new designs by the designer at least twice a year, adds: "Platinum is a unique metal. It has to be presented well. Kazuo Ogawa understands the material he uses and the forms and structures in his pieces are unique. Generally, when you see jewellery, you tend to see the rubies, diamonds, gold etc., but when you see Ogawa's jewellery, you will spot the swans, the birds, and so on. There is expression and emotion in the forms — he brings life to jewellery."

Kazuo Ogawa's designs are clearly evocative of the ancient traditions of many lands and yet they are interestingly contemporary. Experimenting with symbols from various cultures of the world, one finds him drawing from the old traditions of India such as the torans on the doors and the oft-used mango motif which he has re-interpreted, or the ethos of Japanese design forms like motifs on a kimono. His collection such as the Queens of Egypt has been inspired by Hatsheput, Nefetari, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra, while African tribal masks, and the Australian Opal also find their way into some of the international designs.



Showcasing jewellery in both gold and platinum, the designs by Kazuo Ogawa entail unique stones.

Shreedevi Deshpande Puri, who leads Ganjam's design team adds: "Ogawa's products concentrate on unusual stones such as the imperial topaz, the rutilated quartz, the pale pink conch pearl — his style is to use these interesting stones for his jewellery." While Ganjam manufactures some of the classic platinum designs, regularly for their customers, certain pieces in gold were showcased only while Ogawa was here.

Versatility

The designer, speaking in Japanese, elaborates on the versatility of the Indian dress and types of jewellery in India. "Indian women are lucky to have a number of colours and styles in their dress. Their personality is growing faster than ever. It makes it interesting to wear the right jewellery." Thus some of Ogawa's creations have been especially crafted to suit Indian costumes and styling. Showcasing necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, broaches, and hair accessories, Ogawa has brought forth longer earrings for women in the 30-50 year age groups, and a lighter colour of gold for the

younger wearers of jewellery, but the use of a variety of colours, clearly remains the forte of his creations. Not to mention the innovative combinations of materials, textures, and craftsmanship, blending cultures and traditions!

Ganjam showcased this collection at Hyderabad recently. They plan to take the "international designs" to Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi later this year.

TINA GARG

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