Wearing her heart, quite literally, on her hair, jewellery and accessories couturier Raji Anand adds a bold new line of hair accessories and head gear to ‘MadRas’, her line of statement jewellery, saris and stoles. No stranger to fashionistas in Chennai—actress Suhasini Maniratnam, entrepreneur Nina Reddy and danseuse Anita Ratnam are some of her clients—the city-based designer’s modern interpretations of temple jewellery have become much sought after in the past three years, since their inception. Anand herself has been designing for the past eight years. Her limited-edition collection also bears her characteristic bohemian chic.
“I use motifs that display my ‘Southie connect’,” laughs the sociology postgraduate-turned-designer. “Such as the suryan and the chandran. Every piece from my workshop is carefully hand-stitched and, sometimes, even one little piece can take an entire day to complete.” The effervescent 37-year-old works with a resplendent palette of velvet, beads, zardozi, sequins, tiki work and South Indian temple motifs to create her inspired pieces. “My jewellery is very bold and I do a lot of larger pieces, which sometimes don’t suit my younger clientele. So I came up with this capsule collection of hair bands especially for them. Turns out, everybody loves them,” she beams. Offering velvet hair bands (and a few elasticised ones) encrusted with sequins, beads and the like, and accessories including maang tikkas made of gold-toned temple jewellery and beads, Anand’s versatile hair accessories can be used to dress up both ethnic and modern ensembles with panache. “I’m inspired by everything!” she exclaims of her creative process. “Often, the design for a statement piece just comes to me when I sift through all the beads in my glitter box,” she explains. The self-taught designer professes that she has a keen “eye for detail. And I am very, very particular that my studio is only responsible for limited-edition, original designs with the very best of workmanship.” Fans of Anand will also be pleased to know that her distinctive jewellery is now available at stores in Bangalore, Hyderbad, Ahmedabad and Colombo.
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Rs 999 onwards. Available at Amethyst. Details: 28541917