Passage to India — Go for a Maharaja-Worthy Look with the Manish Arora for Amrapali Jewelry Collection
Sawai Jai Singh Bahadur of Alwar, Sawai Sir Madho Singh Bahadur of Jaipur, and Bhupinder Singh and Yadavindra Singh of Patiala are just some of the maharajas whose opulent garb — from plumed and bejeweled turban headdresses and aigrettes to emerald-, diamond- and ruby-encrusted bib necklaces — have become synonymous with Indian royalty. These extravagant historical figures —along with architectural gems like the Qutab Minar and the Akshardham Temple — seem to be predominant sources of inspiration for the latest jewelry collaboration between New Delhi-based Indian fashion designer Manish Arora and Rajesh Ajmera & Rajiv Arora, the visionaries between the 36-year-old jewelry brand Amrapali.
The Manish Arora for Amrapali collection, then, incorporates a bevy of architectural shapes — from bulbous, kalasha-like formations to pyramid shapes reminiscent of the Dravidian architecture style in which many South India temples were constructed. Similarly, the colors and materials used for these pieces nod to traditional Indian jewelry while also incorporating modern details that make them feel trendy and contemporary. Take the Manish Arora for Amrapali Black Rock Necklace ($305 at ManishArora.com), shown above at top, a stunning piece crafted using 18k yellow gold-plated metal, enamel details, and a black lacquer coating. Featuring three elongated, diamond-shaped, faceted, black lacquer-coated accents dangling from the central bib area, the Black Rock necklace also incorporates a plethora of intricate details: triangular etchings within the tusk-shaped metal pieces on either end; triangular metal pieces with polished golden surfaces or cage-like cut-outs; a black lacquer-covered marble shaped accent with grid-like details; and red and black triangular enamel accents. The Manish Arora for Amrapali Astral Bangle ($590 at ManishArora.com), meanwhile, features a sculptural design reminiscent of the Gopuram of Srikurmam temple near Srikakulam. Pictured second above, this chunky bangle features a base metal with an 18k yellow gold plating and is adorned with black and red enamel inlaid into triangular shapes along the piece’s side, rimming the entire perimeter, or positioned inside the oval and teardrop shapes adorning the lintel- and gopuram-like embellishments situated at the top of the bangle. A small onyx stone crowns the bangle like a kalasam atop a gopuram.
One of the most impressive pieces is the Manish Arora for Amrapali Jewelled Collar ($1015 at ManishArora.com), designed to sit at the base of the neck. Pictured third above, this collar features wide metallic sides with an 18k yellow gold plated finish, a black enamel coating, emerald green and blue stones, and holographic crystals. The collar’s metallic surface, which is mainly coated in black enamel, features a multitude of intricate designs: leaf-like shapes outlined in white enamel fanning out gracefully, with diamond-shaped green stones placed below each upside-down V-shape within said fanned-out formation; rows of tiny, elongated almond shapes, each inlaid with red enamel, adorning the black strips rimming the rounded edges on the front of the necklace; and cage-like cut-outs positioned front and center, with oval-shaped, iridescent beads placed atop them. The bottom rim of the collar has an undulating, scalloped quality and these rounded forms are accentuated via the strategic positioning of certain stones like cobalt blue beads. The necklace’s front tips are adorned by golden metallic pieces shaped like obtuse triangles but featuring faceted sides to give them a three-dimensional quality and featuring intricate cut-outs along their interiors.
The Manish Arora for Amrapali Orion Earrings ($220 at ManishArora.com) feature chunky, bulbous shapes reminiscent of doorknockers (but, of course, with a decidedly Eastern twist). Their 18k yellow gold-plated surfaces resemble crescent moons, widening at the center and thinning out along the sides. A domed, acorn-like accent punctuates the bottom of each hoop earring, its surface covered in small perforations, while two onyx stones are positioned on either side, their base adorned with ruby red details.
In keeping with the domed motifs that abound in the collection, there’s also the Manish Arora for Amrapali Merak Necklace ($435 at ManishArora.com), which also sits at the base of the neck and features a striped pattern made with inlaid black, red, and blue enamel. Globe-shaped beads with vertical etchings punctuated by black enamel adorn the lower rim of the necklace, but these are given and edgy twist via the addition of gold-toned spike clusters.
Who wouldn’t love this voyage to India?