There are people for whom jewelry is more than an adornment, it is a statement that becomes part of their identity. Three women in particular have become jewelry icons and have inspired many with their collections: actress Elizabeth Taylor, Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson and philanthropist Barbara Hutton.
This year, the Gemstone and Jewelery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) decided to honor these three women under the theme “The Collectors” for this year’s Artisan Awards. Each entry had to create a special piece of jewelry by imagining what these icons would wear today, adding both drama and glamor to the fifth annual event.
This year’s awards, the winners of which were announced April 14 at a ceremony in Mumbai, included nine awards in total, three in each collector category. In a year of renewal and resilience, the entries and winners have proven that there are “exceptional” designers and makers working in the jewelry industry today, the chairman of the GJEPC, Colin Shah, in a statement.
“The Artisan Awards are one of the major initiatives aimed at showcasing India’s design prowess and positioning the country as one of the leading jewelry design destinations,” Shah said in a statement. . “Through awards, the GJEPC encourages designers to think fearlessly and shape the future of design with unbridled creativity. This year too, we received an overwhelming response despite the challenging style theme of the three famous style icons of yesteryear whose jewelry collections were unparalleled.
The prizes were awarded by Shah; David Bennett, former global president of Sotheby’s, international jewelry division; GJEPC Vice President Vipul Shah; Milan Chokshi, GJEPC Promotions, Marketing and Business Development Manager; and the managing director of GIA India, Sriram Natarajan.
In 2014, GJEPC established the Artisan Awards to promote jewelry designers and artisans in India and develop a platform for them to showcase their creativity and design work. Since then, the awards have drawn entries from around the world, establishing the Artisan Awards as a premier show, organizers said in a statement.
This year, 570 entries from jewelers from India, UK, Egypt, Turkey and others entered the competition. Judges rated these entries on versatility, technicality and adaptability of the classic theme in modern terms, organizers said.
Winners received cash prizes as well as internships with top brands in the industry, organizers said. The winning pieces will also receive a showcase at an international fair at the India Gallery, organized by the GJEPC.
This year’s judges included: former journalist and columnist Gayatri Rangachari; bespoke jewelry consultant Arundhati De; Vishal Kothari, director/designer of VAK Jewels; and the managing director of GIA India, Sriram Natarajan. Members of the international jury were award-winning jewelry designer and professor Reena Ahluwalia and David Bennett, formerly of Sotheby’s, who judged the pieces virtually. The technical jury for the awards was made up of Vikram Singh, creative director of Walking Tree, and Devinder Layal, jewelry artist and educator. Nisha Jhangiani was the curator and designer of this year’s Artisan Awards.
The 2022 winners are listed below.
Winner: pendant designed by Pratiksha Gandle; manufactured by Reliance Retail Ltd. (Reliance Jewels)
First runner-up: brooch and pendant designed by Jayaprabu B; made by Vummidi Bangaru Jewelers
Second runner-up: Pendant/bracelet designed by Divya Banjare; made by Vummidi Bangaru Jewelers
Winner: Choker designed by Shrutika Shinde; made by Walking Tree Ventures
First runner-up: Ring designed by Pooja Mohnani; made by the International Gemmological Institute
Second runner-up: Brooch designed by Ruchira Singh; manufactured by Walking Tree India Pvt. ltd.
Winner: Brooch designed by Dip Sit; manufactured by KGK Creations India Pvt. ltd. (shown above)
First runner-up: Ring designed by Vishnupada Das; made by Popley Eternal
Second runner-up: Earrings designed by Suryadeb Ghosh; manufactured by Gehna Jewelers Pvt. ltd.
Top: Designer Dip Sit created an over-the-top brooch for Wallis Simpson, winning first place for the flamingo-inspired piece (photos courtesy of the Gem and Jewelery Export Promotion Council).
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