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Designer Style Quotient

Gemstones had me intrigued




Designer Pooja Nigam’s highly personal and customized designs find inspiration in the everyday, and guarantee exclusivity.

The Retail Jeweller (TRJ): Tell us a little about yourself, your professional and design journey.
Pooja Nigam (PN): I design and create jewellery under my own name label, Pooja Nigam. My fascination with gemstones began during my two-year diploma in design and manufacturing at the Jewellery Design and Technology Institute (JDTI), Noida, UP. Gemstones had me so intrigued that I went next to the Gemmological Institute of India (GII) in Mumbai. There I completed a graduate gemologist diploma, which came with still more design knowledge. After this I worked for about four years as a faculty member in gemology at the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ), Delhi. While working I studied as well, and became a Fellow (FGA) of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). By this time I was already creating small numbers of jewellery pieces, to put my theoretical knowledge to practical use. These pieces won appreciation, and so I went ahead and established my own brand.

TRJ: Tell us about your design style. What makes your collections unique in the industry?
: My design style is theme-based. I work on every piece with a story — that is the uniqueness I offer my clients. I take inspiration from the flora and fauna and even the inanimate objects. The highlight of my designs is enamelling.

TRJ: What kinds of clients, do you find, are drawn to your jewellery?
PN: An individual who is artistically driven and looks for a story in every jewellery piece they look at, would appreciate my designs.

TRJ: Where do you find your design inspiration?
PN: Architecture, Nature, sometimes small and routine things — they all inspire me. Inspired by Nature and living things I have developed pieces like Padmaja, Parrots in Jharoka and Fishes in the Pond. My collection Flying Kites was inspired by the simple pleasures of kite-flying.

TRJ: Pooja Nigam jewellery is all about individual pieces in various themes. Is it a conscious decision not to create collections?
PN: Yes, it is a conscious decision. I feel the art that goes into the jewellery I design will lose its essence if produced in mass. My customers love the fact that the pieces they get from me are unique and exclusive.

TRJ: Tell us about a piece that is close to your heart, and what makes it special.
PN: The Morning Lotus from the Padmaja Collection. It’s a hansuli, a traditional neckwear of Rajasthan. The exciting thing about this piece is that it can be worn with either side facing out.
Both sides depict the lotus flower. One side is flamboyantly contemporary, with ivory-coloured meenakari, carved rubies and uncut diamonds. The other is completely traditional, with floral red and green meenakari and uncut diamonds. The intricate meenakari and overall workmanship, apart from the design, make it really special to me.

TRJ: What are the trends to watch in the jewellery design industry today?
PN: People are taking a strong interest in customised jewellery. They like their pieces to reflect their individuality, with their preferred colour combinations and styles.

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