The bold and beautiful
Alot of designers begin their practice by creating what they themselves have been unable to find readily. Anam Patel, a 27-year-old Mumbai-based jewellery designer, found herself creating single experimental pieces akin to ornamental body armour, after she was unable to find anything like that off a shelf. She set up her label, Anomaly by Anam, a year and a half ago to reinvent jewellery, from precious delicate adornment to statement body wear.
“For me, shin harnesses from the battlefields of Rome and Greece and the rugged metallic pieces worn by nomadic tribes of India were an inspiration. I wanted to find a way to bring them into our modern urban lives,” says Patel.
Anomaly is two collections old—Bellum and Mandala. It includes body jewellery, like Ira, a malleable choker that goes around the thigh and provocatively peeps out of a long dress with a deep slit. Sovann is a palm cuff that extends right up to the forearm. Arya is a three-piece necklace that can be worn in various ways, with one intricate string criss-crossing the shoulder and clasping the forearm like a baju-band. While Mandala is intricate and marked by bold mandalas, or geometric patterns, Bellum (Latin for war cry) is minimal and comes in a reflective gold and silver finish. Made in brass alloy and silver—“brass allows for the flexibility and silver stops the blackening or rusting”—the pieces are one size fits all. “We use a form called liquid plating that allows the form to be expanded, contracted, bent without cracking,” explains Patel.
Atosa, a six-year old designer boutique in Mumbai’s Khar neighbourhood that has been the platform for various emerging designers, was one of the first to spot and stock Patel’s jewellery. “When I saw Anam’s shin harnesses, I realized nobody else I knew was doing jewellery like that. They were sort of medieval but modern, and very edgy. I do remember warning her, ‘this is not everyone’s cup of tea,’ but she made a space for her jewellery,” says Azmina Rahimtoola, co-owner of Atosa (Patel is a childhood friend of Rahimtoola’s daughter). “With Atosa, it has always been about looking out for people who had a unique sensibility—whether it was Chola, who we stocked even before they did Lakmé Fashion Week, or Masaba. With Anam’s jewellery, I find signs of the same strong, unique sensibility,” says Rahimtoola.
Available at www.anomalybyanam.com and at Atosa in Khar, Mumbai, and Almarih, Hyderabad; Rs8,000-25,000.