‘There’s a misconception that Indian jewellery is super gold and gaudy,’ says the owner of Ishaveya, a concept shop showcasing the best of modern Indian jewellery. Jahanavi Bhaskar Laag, a Delhite raised in London, says her shop gives Beijingers a taste of what real Indian gems are all about with her collection of accessories from India’s young, hip designers – and it’s not all what you see in Bollywood flicks, either.
Bhaskar Laag says Indians love the sparkle, but the younger generation of jewellers are not about the Bollywood bling; they’re more about giving a modern twist to ancient artisanal traditions. They merge Western simplicity with bright and bold baubles and showcase delicate embroidery that’s renowned in India.
At her Xingfucun shop, expect to see beautiful hand-stitched clutches made from raw silk (800-950RMB) from label Love to Bag, elegant earrings (starting at 200RMB) from designer Rahul Popli’s Amethyst brand and glittery goodies that are a far stretch from gaudy.
Bhaskar Laag brings a warm, bespoke charm to her little shop, making you feel as if you’re shopping with your best friend.
‘Try on the earrings first because they may look not the same on your ear,’ Bhaskar Laag advises as we try to place over-sized fan-shaped earrings on our lobes. ‘I don’t love it, but these would look better,’ she says as she points out a smaller, black onyx-coloured teardrop earring. ‘See, those look much better,’ she says with a smile.
A quick visit to Ishaveya turned into a highly enjoyable two-hour dress-up party. We’re certain it will be the same for anyone who walks through the doors of this adorable shop.
By Amy Chung