Must-have jewellery pieces for a bridal trousseau, hand-picked by an expert

A jewellery advisor with a special focus on mindful consumption, Arundhati De Sheth, shares her expertise on the need to cherish heirlooms, choosing quality gemstones, and much more.

Arundhati De, a bespoke jewellery advisor, takes us through her journey of falling in love with jewels and paving her way to becoming one of the best jewellery consultants.

Brides Today: What led you to curating slow luxury jewellery pieces? 
Arundhati De Sheth: My approach is to slow down mindless consumption and encourage people to adopt a more thoughtful approach to their fine jewellery purchases, by thinking about how each piece will work down the line in their lifetime and even for the next generation of the family. Today, each one of us struggles with keeping consumption patterns in check. We get marketing messages all the time, there’s so much to choose from, and by default, we shop all the time. I’m very conscious of this, so I want to try to encourage my clients and followers to choose jewels that have a sense of longevity to them. 

BT: How old were you when you realised you have an eye for jewellery? How did you proceed to take it up professionally?
ADS: I’ve been attracted to precious jewellery from an early age. My young mind was filled with awe for “real” jewellery. I used to play with my mother’s pieces when I was five or seven years old. But it was when I was pursuing my MBA at ESSEC Business School in Paris, focusing on luxury brand management, that I got deeply attracted to jewellery. Paris is dotted with iconic maisons and masters of fine jewellery. Walking past Place Vendome, on my way to work, would be uplifting and energising—the windows are filled with such incredible jewels! Many other parts of Europe also have numerous smaller ateliers and workshops of lesser-known jewellers who are masters of their work. In late 2007, I interned with Cartier Middle East for a little over six months, and this cemented my attraction to the world of fine jewellery. In 2010, as a fresh MBA grad, I got a full-time job in sales and marketing at a solitaire engagement ring store on Hughes Road, Mumbai. And a quick year later, I joined the Nirav Modi team as a high-jewellery sale specialist; I learned so much here and got such terrific exposure. As they say, the rest is history!

BT: What is your opinion of personal shopping and jewellery consulting? How fast are these two trends catching up in India, as compared to overseas?
ADS: I’ve seen a rapid rise in interest in this field owing to our flourishing bridal and wedding industry. It’s been working really well for fashion, though there’s still some catching up to do for fine jewellery. There’s a lot of scope with Indians living overseas, who may need help navigating the congested jewellery market in India. For them, honest, unbiased opinions and guidance is important, for it helps them retain faith in this field. In India, the average person struggles to find it worthwhile to pay for the service expertise of shopping or being shown what to buy. But with education and clarity, this is changing.

BT: While helping clients build their jewellery collection, what are the most important factors you bear in mind?
ADS: For me, being a stylist is a minor aspect of my job. People come to me as they feel I have a fresh perspective on jewellery. Most importantly, the jewellery I propose to them is not entirely generic in nature—I focus on workmanship and design, the quality of the gems and diamonds, and even technical innovation.

BT: While a bride is building her box of baubles for her trousseau, list the three keepsakes you’d recommend.
ADS: First, I’d say keep one family heirloom jewel, even if it’s a small piece you wouldn’t wear on your big day. It’s a memory plus the moment that you’re holding on to. Second, a beautiful long but light-weight pair of earrings for dancing and a long night out, whether it be a cascade of natural diamonds or even Indian jhumkis. Comfort is key. Third, a pair of well-made ear studs or a pendant—and perhaps even a lovely tennis bracelet, a piece you can wear often.

BT: For a bride looking to make the right statement, suggest two rich heritage pieces she shouldn’t miss on her wedding day.
ADS: This really is specific to every bride and what her preferences are. But I’d reiterate: opt for a pair of gorgeous earrings with great quality coloured gemstones and/or natural diamonds. Also, I’m a big fan of maangtikkas; I think they really add glamour and beauty to the look.


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