Jaipur, India. Sept. 29, 2020. Jewelry has been an integral part of my life. Coming from India, a place rich in culture and traditions, jewelry is gifted to girls from the time they are born well into adulthood for special occasions. In my culture, people spend a fortune buying jewels for brides for weddings because of tradition and to show off wealth. Custom-made fine jewelry is also a fairly common practice because shoppers want to display their personal style and their affluence. Ever since childhood, I have also enjoyed making jewelry using fine wires, tiny pearls, and experimenting with shape and design. Today, most of the fine jewelry that I personally own are gifts from my mother, grandmothers, and other family members. And as a 21-year-old fashion design student at The New School, Parsons School of Design, in New York City, my own sense of style is developing.
Even though women in India prefer wearing heavy jewelry, that’s not my style. My favorite piece of jewelry to wear is earrings. I love wearing tiny hoops and studs and feel that more dainty pieces suit me and are age appropriate. As a young adult, I prefer yellow, white, or rose gold as opposed to the traditional 22k to 24k gold largely used in India. My small collection of jewelry comprises pieces from Swarovski and a few custom-made items, including a set of earrings made with three marquise-shape diamonds embedded in white gold.
Being a fashion design student, I always notice how any piece of jewelry can change the whole look of an outfit and complement one’s personal features. Jewelry can make you feel extremely powerful and confident. A piece of jewelry can uplift your mood and style. I love exploring new jewelry brands like V The Label Jewellery, Naetur, and S-kin Studio Jewelry that create modern yet classic pieces. Plus, shapes and patterns on crystals and precious stones have been an inspiration for me while designing garments or choosing fabrics. Most of the time, depending on the style of the garment I’m making, I do like to add a statement piece of jewelry to enhance a particular body part.
Aparna Saraogi, a 21-year-old fashion design student at The New School, Parsons School of Design, in New York City. Saraogi is currently serving as an intern for JenniferHeebner.com.
Some of my friends feel similarly about jewelry. One friend from New York City is obsessed with accessories, rings in particular. Ever since she was little, she’s worn rings and experimented with earrings and new piercings. As she grew up, she received nicer pieces that were handed down from family members—a point she loves.
“Jewelry can be handed down from generations and continue to live in the lives of other family members, and I think that’s beautiful,” she says.
Having the budget of a college student, her current purchases are from a roster of more-affordable brands like luvAJ, Martha Calvo Joolz, Bauble Bar, and Mejuri. Still, her love of jewelry will likely continue to mature, along with the sophistication of her purchases.
“The thing I love the most about accessorizing with jewelry is that it can aid an aesthetic or a mood so well,” she adds. “Whether it’s confident and edgy with statement pieces, or soft and feminine with dainty chains, jewelry is so versatile and just adds a bit of sparkle to whatever you’re wearing.”
It’s intriguing to me how similar we feel about jewelry even though we come from two completely different places and cultures. But, like her, my own purchases will continue to evolve. When I can afford to buy more of my own fine jewelry in karat gold, I will!
This article was written by Aparna Saraogi, a 21-year-old fashion design student at The New School, Parsons School of Design, in New York City. Saraogi is currently serving as an intern for JenniferHeebner.com.
Maverick stud earrings in 18k white gold with 0.4 cts. t.w. Forevermark marquise-cut diamonds, $2,200; available online at Jade Trau
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