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DIVYA NAMBIAR

Hand-crafted, gold plated jewellery made with semiprecious gemstones such as lapis lazuli & turquoise.

Colour inspiration for Divya Nambiar’s colour palette.

AYUSH KASLIWAL

The Fat and The Long bell lamps.

The Oas Marble Ball candle stand.

Mughal miniature art adorns the Kalam table.

Colour inspiration for Ayush Kasliwal’s colour palette.

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Showcase 30 Nov 2014

Regalia Stories

Regalia are emblems and symbols of royalty, signifying the visual and experiential cues associated with nobility, opulence, and luxury.

Regalia represents spirited and indulgent opulence. Together with designers Divya Nambiar and Ayush Kasliwal, we explore its colour expressions.

Divya Nambiar

Founder and Designer, Unniyarcha

Divya studied financial mathematics at Columbia University  in New York City, where she was taken in, as much by  the magic of numbers, as by the cutting-edge fashion and design she saw around her. Returning to India to work with the family business in specialised engineering design, where designers bent materials to the will of the mind, she was inspired to apply everything to her childhood passion of designing jewellery. Divya’s label, Unniyarcha, is named after the legendary warrior of 16th century South India famous for her beauty and her strength.

Showcase

Unniyarcha’s first collection is inspired by the characteristics of the legendary warrior Unniyarcha, who was known for her boldness and grace, as well as for being a formidable and powerful fighter. The collection features a bold, fierce look, coupled with the grace, beauty, and gentleness of a princess. Regalia as a theme connotes royalty, sumptuousness, and elegance echoing the ideals of this collection. Every piece in the collection expresses itself through colour, as well as form. For this collection, blue, red, and a warm yellow are our primary colours, expressing boldness, strength, and timelessness. Each piece combines with the spirit of the wearer to create a unique expression.

My Regalia Colour Inspiration

Regalia spells luxury. To me, Regalia is visible throughout the rich 17th century South Indian palaces. The lush greenery surrounding the palace, and the opulence and grandeur of the architecture cannot be missed. The rays of the sun passing through the dark teak wood interiors give it a warm ambience. 

I am currently on holiday in Goa, where it is the end of the monsoon season. There is lush greenery all around, with dark blue skies, and short bursts of heavy rainfall. The warm sunshine, deep blue of the ocean, and bright hues of bougainvillea flowers are my inspiration for the Regalia palette. The issue’s colour, Grape Riot–X138, is a very strong colour. Using Jade Green–2435 along with Grape Riot–X138 adds a slight contrast, while Ocean Force–X146 is a soothing colour that ties the other two shades together.

“Different colours, their combinations, evoke different emotions. Their power to instil and portray different meanings is what excites me the most. In jewellery, the expression of colour itself can be achieved by different means, from the cut of the stone, to the polish of the metal. The mood of a single piece, from regal to spunky, can be governed completely by the selection of colours and colour combinations. Colour is one of the principal ways to define & accentuate the beauty of each piece of jewellery and its wearer.”

Ayush Kasliwal  

Co-founder and Designer, AKFD Design Studio & Anantaya Décor

Ayush is the founder of AKFD Design Studio, and an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where he studied furniture design.  Based in Jaipur, AKFD offers a fresh twist to traditional crafts, producing cutting-edge artefacts, accessories, textiles, and furniture. Strategically located in Jaipur, with access to centuries of rich craft tradition in Rajasthan, AKFD combines these local crafts with a modern perspective on products and materials, creating a unique range of products. Ayush is also co-founder of Anantaya Decor, an inter-disciplinary lifestyle design studio, that serves as the retail arm of AKFD, while also working to develop innovative new ideas through an understanding of the importance  of preservation of traditional crafts.

Showcase 

Regalia is a play of intensities, without being loud. This approach is visible in the Oas Marble Ball candle stand and bell lamps. 

The body of the Oas candle stand is made from brass, with the outside finished in a dark patina, while the inner surfaces have been polished to a brilliant shine. The candle-holder itself is made of white marble. The Fat and Long bell lamps are adjustable pendant lights, inspired by temple bells. In this case, the contrast between the inside and the outside is more pronounced, with the spun-brass interiors reflecting a glow of warm light. 

The culmination of this approach is clearly visible in our choice of colours for the Mars Attacks table, chosen to be as striking as possible. Each table features a play of saturated, yet pastel shades. This vision extends to the Kalam table, illustrated by skilled miniature-painting artists, who have decorated the tables with images selected from and inspired by traditional Rajput and Mughal miniature paintings.

My Regalia Colour Inspiration

To me, Regalia, particularly in the Indian context, is about materials which are simple and pure, manipulated in a rich and sensuous manner. A quiet confidence, and comfort  in being that way. Metallic gold or burnished brass, jewel tones, tempered with rich colours in satin. Refined and sensuous shapes, in a sparse but rich environment. Refined lines and forms, which stand by universal values of beauty, while being identifiably Indian. Inspired by nature, but not imitating it, the spirit of Regalia infuses everything we do. 

The inspiration for my Regalia palette originates in the blend of rich, intense shades paired with muted, but full-bodied colours one finds in the palaces of Rajasthan. The tones of terre-verte, which is used in Aariash work, the rich red of kumkum, and the purple of exotic sarees and patkas worn by royalty. 

“I am personally a little shy of colours. However, having said that, the natural colour of materials and the way light plays on it is central to our designs. Colours are part of the process, be it the deep shades of patina on copper, or the delicate lustre of glass. We do not see colour as something that is applied on, rather it is something that is intrinsic to, and identifiable with the material, like an emerald. Colour is the material, and the material is the colour.”

 

IMAGES


DIVYA NAMBIAR

All images courtesy Divya Nambiar, except:
• Nedim Chaabene » flickr.com/photos/124075341@ N03/14378432510/
• Zaqqy » flickr.com/photos/zaqography/3761519814/
• frederik_rowing » flickr.com/photos/untershit/9112640187/

 

AYUSH KASLIWAL

All images courtesy Ayush Kasliwal, except:
• snikrap » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jairpur_city_ palace_interior2.jpg
• Jeff Hart » flickr.com/photos/ipeguy/5350777245/
• Vladimer Shioshvili » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_ powder_in_Jerash,_Jordan.jpg
• Anilbhardwajnoida » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benaras_brocade_sari.jpg