Deepa Gurnani, a hand-embroidered line of unique and distinctive accessories, explores the theme of dissonant extremes in its Fall/Winter collection, Oblivion. Each piece in the collection is hand-stitched, weaving the vibrant and exotic colors and beading of India.
Featuring statement crystallized jewelry and luxury hair accessories in shades of the deepest black with gleaming gold, the idea behind the collection was to reflect how humanity appears to operate at dissonant extremes. For example, millions of people live in abject poverty, while others enjoy a life of lavish luxury. Similarly, the earth is ever-depleted of resources, yet humans continue to consume what is left. These incongruous themes are brought to the fore in this collection, which seeks to showcase beauty in a contrary world.
Combinations in the collection include military details that are deconstructed and re-imagined in the designer’s signature brass with mini-pompoms and dazzling crystal. Blood-red stones, antique metallic and gilded feathers evoke the resplendence of uniformed troops.
In stark contrast, the water element is explored in shades of mineral blues, faded pastels and irregular grays. This is meant to portray the contrasting images of savage waves and cleansing rivers or streams. Shell and mother-of-pearl are prominent in the collection, combined with metal sequins in the shape of anemone flowers. Semi-precious stones bring an effortless natural beauty to these intricately embroidered jewels.
Inspired by the heat of the desert and its arid landscapes, the collection also includes jewelry with geodes of rocks and crystals, gently glistening druzy and lava beads. The riches of the earth are celebrated in all its natural beauty in these thoughtfully crafted pieces in a rich palette of burnt red, earth tones and sun-kissed blush.
The Deepa Gurnani brand was conceived by husband-and-wife duo Jay Lakhani and Deepa Gurnani. While studying fashion at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, Gurnani beaded couture pieces for Alexander McQueen, Emanuel Ungaro, Fendi and Marjan Pejoski. Working closely with these designers enabled Gurnani to understand couture standards of quality and finish, and compelled her to experiment with new and unusual beading and embroidery techniques. Combining this experience with her own distinct style and sensibility, she was inspired to create her own line.
Lakhani started his training at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and trained under head designers from Tiffany and Bvlgari, where he refined his eye for detail and luxury. Despite his love of fine jewelry, Lakhani was always drawn to fashion. He dreamed of combining the art of fine jewelry with fashion accessories to create easy-to-wear works of art. He noticed the trend of black and basic silhouettes in the marketplace, which he saw as blank canvasses for exquisite embroidered accessories.
In 2005, Jay Lakhani and Deepa Gurnani tied the knot. Following their marriage, the two designers collaborated and launched their label Deepa Gurnani. Their first line was launched at Henri Bendel in New York City in November 2006 and is now sold in various stores around the world.
After 10 years in the business, the brand remains strong in a constantly changing industry. With a growing need to satisfy more price-conscious customers in a challenging world economy, the brand decided to launch two ranges in 2016. ‘Deepa Gurnani,’ the first range, remains a luxury brand focused on limited edition trend-led capsule collections made with Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones. The second brand, ‘Deepa by Deepa Gurnani,’ is a more accessible collection with beautiful and easy-to-wear pieces for all occasions.