KARAN JOHAR has proved time and again that his strengths go much beyond making box-office hits. He is a man of many talents – a highly successful film director and producer, a witty talk show host, a stylish fashion designer, and now,a jewellery designer.
He recently collaborated with Mumbai’s Gehna Jewellers to create a chic designer jewellery line for women and men. The Karan Johar line for Gehna has his distinct design sensibilities written all over it – statement rings, earrings, ear cuffs that are super-stylish for the modern Indian woman. Contemporary and innovative, the diamond-studded flamboyant collection promises to be an instant hit.
A first-of-its-kind creative collaboration deserved a glitzy preview and the launch hosted by Gehna Jewellers at the swish restaurant Aqaba proved to be just that. SHANOO BIJLANI and ALIYA LADHABHOY grabbed the opportunity to interview Karan Johar at the launch. Well-prepped for the interaction, Karan’s responses were as fast-paced as his rapid-fire round on Koffee with Karan.
You enjoy an iconic status in the film industry. You are known for your fashion sense and your recent collaboration with Vero Moda was just waiting to happen. What prompted you to take up the project with Gehna to develop the Karan Johar Signature Line for them?
I have always been a student of fashion and have been fascinated with jewellery. For me, jewellery is not alien. When Sunil and Kiran Datwani of Gehna asked me to design my own line, I thought it would be challenging as well as a wonderful addition to my bucket list.
How was the experience?
It was amazing! Collaborating with the team was fantastic. I brought in my own ideas, my observations …I do a lot of travel and I love the way the Western world uses jewellery, which is minimal, and yet can completely enhance the garment to its maximum potential.
The jewellery collection includes ear cuffs and hand rings that go through all your fingers – the rings are my favourite part in the line. I have combined different coloured stones in the collection which definitely has a good impact on the design.
Which coloured stones have you used in the collection?
We have used an exotic mix of metals and stones crafted in contemporary silhouettes. I love emeralds and diamonds and I have incorporated a lot of them in my collection.
So how did you go about designing the pieces? Did you first sketch or did you simply convey your ideas to the artisans?
I personally can’t sketch, but I would describe it while the artists would sketch my ideas. I was with them through all the stages of production because when I contribute my name to something, I believe that it should represent my aesthetics. It makes sense to be involved because I am also looking at a continuous collaboration with Gehna. And this is just our first burst.
What kind of a woman would wear Karan Johar’s jewellery?
I think all kinds of women could wear my jewellery. Of course, it has been very strongly targeted at the youth but women at any age are young at heart. I took a piece home and my mother just loved it.
What was it?
It was a ring. She very happily wore it for an afternoon that she had stepped out for.
So I think you can appease girls right from the time parents allow them to wear jewellery till my mum’s age, and that is a wide spectrum to cover.
I always believe that you have to match your jewellery or your garments to your personality and your body type. What works on a mannequin may not work for an individual.
Some pieces of jewellery might look beautiful on certain necks, ears, and hands, but not on others. There are some faces that can take jewellery, some faces don’t. So know yourself. Be aware and don’t be deluded about what you can look like.
A lot of importance is given to styling in films these days – which includes clothes, shoes, jewellery and the overall look. Do you think that stylists give enough importance to jewellery for a movie?
It depends on the focus, the designer and the filmmaker. Jewellery otherwise is considered wasted in costumes unless it is a costume drama. Films are about emotions and characters and if you have a big pair of earrings staring at you, it can take away from the moment; sometimes in a close-up jewellery can be distracting. Also, the younger crop of heroines likes to keep it minimal when it comes to jewellery.
But if it is a costume drama or a period film, yesjewellery plays a huge part.
Which is your favourite gemstone?
I have always loved emeralds.
Do you like Indian jewellery with traditional or a modern template?
I actually do like the modern genre of jewellery more than I like traditional jewellery. Of course, I do like some temple jewellery – especially the vintage gold pieces. But I am not a big fan of gold. Diamonds, for me, are forever.
Where do you get your design sense from? Is it a natural flair or inherited?
From the age of eight, I have been reading fashion magazines and my design sense is purely instinct-based.
Of course, you are a style icon yourself…
Yes, I guess, instinct based on observation, purely.
A jewellery piece that you would recommend from your collection for every woman?
Well, I think there are so many. But I would definitely recommend the hand rings, especially the one with the emerald ring and some diamonds to support it …the rings are my favourite pieces in the collection. I think Gauri Khan wore it to Manish Malhotra’s niece’s wedding recently. I love it! It is a tiny, simple piece of jewellery, and there is something extremely elegant about it.