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    Bharathi Raviprakash unveils a striking line of jewellery where untreated gemstones call the shots

    YOU don’t need an introduction to Bharathi Raviprakash, the  jewellery designer who makes Chennai proud. Since 2002, her distinct designs at Studio Tara have taken inspiration from just about everything, be it chillies, insects or Egyptian motifs. In each case, the gems have led the design process. Her latest, Raw1 Elegance, which comes to Chennai after stops in the capital and Bangalore, has been curated by Rakesh Thakore, of Abraham & Thakore, with inputs from another Chennai darling, art curator, Sharan Apparao. The two-day show at Apparao Galleries will see a selection of gem-encrusted rings, bracelets, necklaces, buttons and more, against a monochrome backdrop – Thakore’s stark black and white weaves and metal artwork commissioned by Apparao. ‘‘I had done a few pieces, then started a dialogue with Rakesh. The idea is to showcase each stone in all its beauty, with gold wire or copper used as mere setting,’’begins Raviprakash, adding that age (she is closer to 50) has taught her how an extraordinary stone benefits from experience and a strong personality more than physical beauty. This is why the current line has been photographed on the hands, neck and ears of a 92-year-old woman, the deep grooves in her skin offering a stark backdrop to the beautiful jewellery. ‘‘The story began in New Zealand, when I dipped my hands in a freezing pool to collect a few pebbles. Hoping to recreate that image, I went hunting for stones in mines in Thailand and from sources in Africa. These stones are not treated and likely to appreciate the most,’’ she explains, patiently charting the emerald trend to justify the investment angle. That said, the huge aquamarine set in white gold (featured on the invitation card) or the rutilated quartz with diamonds supersede practical concerns. With some of the city’s (and the nation’s) most powerful women among her clients, Raviprakash’s jewellery belongs in boardrooms and at the head of the table. This is your cue to splurge. The jewellery, featuring emeralds, rubies, sapphires, aquamarines and pearls, begins at Rs 50,000.
    At Apparao Galleries, today and tomorrow. Priced from `50,000 onwards. Details: 24990240/28332226
    Rosella Stephen

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