Confluence of religion and rubies
By Zainab Khar
LAHORE: Zehra Kachelo’s jewellery exhibition opened Tuesday at Croweaters Gallery.
A lawyer by training, Hyderabad-born Ms Kachelo only got into the appointments-only jewellery design business last year. She has already become somewhat of a familiar name in her hometown of Karachi. Ms Kachelo has set Precious stones in silver and gold to create a look that is urban, elegant and all-woman.
Ali Kachelo spoke on behalf of his mother who was unavailable. The point of the Kachelo collection is to give women something affordable, elegant and understated, he said. The idea is to give women something for all occasions, he added. “Not stuff that would attract attention and get them mugged in the street,” said Mr Kachelo.
How has Lahore responded to the collection? It’s been slow but steady, he said. “People are gradually growing a fondness for lighter jewellery,” said Mr Kachelo.
The designs are mostly floral with ethnic motifs. Emphasis has been placed on maintaining the original cut and texture of the stones placed in silver and gold. Shells and pearls are Ms Kachelo’s favourite stones and many of these found their way on necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants along with emeralds, rubies, jade and topaz.
Pearl knit rosaries and pendants with Quranic text on them in gold and silver were also on show. Ms Kachelo is not one who goes in for the bling-bling diamonds look and does not overuse gold. Most of the stones are from Bangkok, said her son, adding that now with improved relations with India stones could be flown in from there.
Ms Kachelo also has shawls and shalwar kurtas and prayer mats intricately decorated with Sindhi motifs in shades of brown, royal blue, olive green and red. The designer shows a clear preference for earthen tones.
The confluence of religion and rubies is no coincidence. The designer believes in the healing qualities of stones, said her son. Pearls are for tranquillity, rubies for energy and emeralds for intuition. The near ascetic quality of the adornments goes hand-to-hand with the prayer mats and does not appear ironic in the least.
Prices for the jewellery ranges from Rs 400 to Rs 4,000. The jade necklaces are Rs 2,500 and the discriminating ruby chokers between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000. The exhibition runs until January 29 at the gallery on The Mall.