It is my fierce desire to revive the dying handicrafts of Bengal and take them international”
Every piece replicated the charm of Bengal. Every collection is a canvas of nature. They spellbind the beholder. They adorn the wearer. Such are the creations rolled out by Radhika Jain. From a kneejerk start to international ambitions, from an essence of Bengali to a nature-inspired design, here’s a sneak peek into her glittering journey as a renowned jewellery designer.
I have always been a creative person with a yen for everything artistic and have not taken any formal training from any institute. One summer while helping my cousin Milky design jewellery, I found my calling in life. I was so fascinated by the whole process that I decided to design my own creations. I used my creative skills to design pieces that were appreciated by all. That boosted my confidence and inspired me to take up jewellery designing as a profession.
My creative instincts, love for nature and handicraft enable me to design jewellery. My design aesthetics are derived from nature and Bengali culture. That is why my creations display the fabulous craftsmanship of Bengali artisans. I like to design jewellery for all age groups and jewellery that can be worn at all occasions. My collection is meant for the women of today who aspire to be independent, creative and at the same time deeply feminine. The designs are meant for the women who are modern but at the same time, deeply connected and appreciative of their roots and culture.
My brand – MiRA, is abbreviated form of two names Milky, my cousin from whom I learned the basics of jewellery designing and Radhika myself. That apart, MiRA (pronounced ‘My-Ra’) merges ‘self’ (my) with ‘Sun God’ (Ra) while ‘Ra’ in Egyptian mythology symbolises power, creativity, light and individuality. Since MiRA aims to imbibe all these qualities in its designs and the name had both, connection with my career and beautiful meaning, I found it perfect for my brand. Use of common raw materials differently to create unique pieces makes my brand different from other brands.
My latest collection Jardin d’Eden (Garden of Eden) features an array of bespoke pieces, from stunning body harness to necklaces, signature bracelets and earrings, making them perfect for any occasion, from engagements to weddings, birthday gifts or sheer self-indulgence. It uses handcrafted fibres with metallic elements and like the original Garden of Eden, it aims to be the guilty pleasure for every woman.
The USP of my collection is that it’s sustainable as the eco-friendly materials are used to create it. Indian consumer is moving towards sustainable fashion and same is the case for jewellery too. Sustainable fashion is the latest trend in the jewellery industry. My present collection is sustainable fashion. I like to create timeless pieces which can be passed on to generations. So, my collection possesses all these qualities and at the same time, it is a good example of sustainable fashion as I use eco-friendly materials.
My jewellery design collections are greatly influenced by Bengali Culture. In every piece, an essence of Bengal is clearly visible. One can see a lot of gold and white combinations in my jewellery and the intricate designs also display the fabulous craftsmanship of the Bengali artisans. Moreover, keeping the environment in mind, I use synthetic ivory, which is not only eco-friendly but also adds to the charm of the jewellery and truly, exudes beauty without cruelty.
I usually don’t restrict my creativity to using a particular kind of material. I like travelling and collecting raw materials which can be used to create interesting jewellery. After that, I sit with my collected piece and do a lot of permutations and combinations to create a collection. As I am not good at drawing, I prefer to sit with my fellow craftsmen in the workshop to explain to them my ideas and physically make my pieces. This, in turn, broadens my horizon in terms of design possibility. Speaking out of my personal experience, I feel that understanding of manufacturing know-how is not only important but a must for a designer too. If you know the man
ufacturing process, then the scope of creativity increases, as you are equipped with not only designing skills but also know how to create it. Even you would know whether the designs you are creating are practical or not and hence, would not end up wasting time in designing something which is impossible.
Each handcrafted piece makes a treasured keepsake that can be handed down through generations. It is my fierce desire to revive the dying handicrafts of Bengal and take them international. With the price of real or fine jewellery touching sky, it is very difficult for general people to buy them and so, they opt for costume jewellery. Secondly, even people who can afford them usually don’t like to keep their jewellery at home or carry with them while travelling for security reasons and thus, turn to us. There is good demand for costume jewellery and hence, this field has a lot of scope and potential to grow.
Although my best memories associated to jewellery are those when my collections are appreciated at renowned platforms like the Lakmé fashion week, I don’t aim for awards or fashion weeks but to create mesmerising jewellery designs which can be talked about and acknowledged by all. In the future too, I see myself creating timeless fashionable jewellery that is appreciated by generations. It is my fierce desire to revive the dying handicrafts of Bengal and take them international.