Pakistani artist Masooma Syed describes Eina Ahluwalia as a ‘very nice girl’. Masooma was impressed with the range of Eina’s ware at a recent jewellery-based art exhibition they both participated in. Not only did they click as professionals but also as women who followed their hearts.
It is easy to fall in love with Eina when you meet her. The conceptual jewellery artist is warm, down-to-earth and good-humoured. But not many know that behind the sweetheart demeanour lie the sentiments of a poet and the madness of an artist. Behind those delicate creations she weaves with her team of dedicated workers lie a whole lot of thoughts, memories and passion.
The Kolkata-based award-winning jewellery designer, who describes herself as a ‘learner’, travels the world for work and exhibitions, putting together all her experiences into her designs. One of her most popular collections, ‘Wedding Vows’, was a statement against domestic violence, resulting from the personal experience of a loved one. Another collection, ‘One – A Trillion Paths’, promotes oneness in religious diversity. Her latest one, ‘All We Need Is Love’, is an attempt at Indo-Pak peace. Her label Breathing Space, managed by her sister Atikaa, takes inspiration from across space and time – there’s 17th century Baroque from Italy to Syria in the Middle Ages. There’s India, past and present. There are lovingly engraved gems and personally handcrafted metal. It is difficult for any jewellery lover to pick just one.
No wonder Eina’s clientele goes from Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra to Hollywood actress Dree Hemingway. Eina’s collections now retail from some of the most prestigious fashion e-retailers around the world, and she is much hailed in fashion circles. Several socialites and fashionistas are happy to be clicked or Instagrammed wearing Eina’s pieces, and many of her designs have created talking points, such as her ‘Kirpan’ necklace, worn often by super-diva Sonam Kapoor at red-carpet events.
Eina takes time off her whirlwind, happening schedule to answer a few questions.
What is that one piece of jewellery that you can’t live without?
What is your favourite shopping destination?
Flea markets across the world.
How can office goers and college students experiment with their daily jewellery?
Even small pieces of jewellery can have a strong element of design. Wear pieces that tell a story, stand for something, or mean something important to you.
Who is your favourite fashion icon and why?
I don’t believe in fashion, I believe in a personal sense of style. So I don’t have a favourite fashion icon, but I love it when people wear what they like because it’s comfortable, and as a reflection of their personality, and they carry it with confidence and grace. I prefer a woman dressed in a pair of jeans and a shirt with flat sandals, over someone in a gown, high heels and earrings that are tearing their ears down any day.
According to you who is the best dressed celebrity in India?
Adhuna Akhtar, for the fact that she doesn’t try to fit in. She is very comfortably herself, and looks great in whatever she wears.
Which is your current favourite jewellery trend?
I don’t really follow trends so I can’t say.
Which is the one jewellery trend that turns you off?
Palm bracelets; they are most uncomfortable and impractical. I made one because some customers asked for it, but after that I refuse to make them!
Three things that you never leave your house without?
Mobile phone, wallet and keys.
One piece of jewellery that you can wear your whole life?
I have a bit of ADD (attention deficit disorder) when it comes to jewellery. I don’t think I can wear any one piece for the rest of my life. I don’t change my everyday jewellery daily, but after every few months I like to switch it around.
What would you consider the most rewarding moment in your career till now?
The times I have received personal emails from people saying how the Wedding Vows collection has given them courage to stand up for themselves in difficult marriages.
What is the most daring thing you have ever done in your life?
Spoken the truth even when it was very hard.
What is your current #mood?
You’re on a beach in the Bahamas, lying on a hammock with a mojito in your hands… who would be the person next to you right now?
My closest friend Runa.