Driven by an urge to redefine tradition and to make her creations more conceptually relevant this former architect thrives on challenging the usual. Maithili Kabre belongs to that rare school of accesory designers who believe that fashion cannot survive in isolation. Maithili Kabre is the product of two prestigious design schools of India. After pursuing her degree in architecture from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai, she reaslised that fashion was her true calling, thus came National Institute of Design ( NID) where she pursued lifestyle accessory design. Maithili started retailing handmade jewellery in 2004 and eventually started her own label in 2009.
Since then she has come a long way and now creates pieces for women of discerning taste. What makes her a hot seller? Her ability to tread a path between tradition and mordenity. She is now creating pieces for the likes of Bollywood actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadha. Her oeuvre of work thrives on wearability with a tinge of drama, and that's what makes her creations fascinating. Maithili gets chatty with Fashion101 and tells us about her inspirations and journey so far.
Swastika in Maithili Kabre jewels
When did you journey into jewellery design begin? M.K : I began dabbling in handmade jewellery and retailing it in 2004 during my fourth year in Architecture. A more formal label 'Swa' was launched after my post-graduation in 2009. 'Maithili Kabre Jewellery' was launched in 2013 as a step ahead into luxury fashion jewellery.
What's the first thing in your head when you begin work on a new design? M.K: All collections usually start with an inspiration. So an inspiration board is vital to channelize the designs in a definite direction. They can be right from facets of being a woman to an art movement or a period in history.
How many hours of work go into a single piece? M.K: Each piece can take 5-8 hours of work. This usually involves the assembly and soldering. Since we use a lot of crystals, setting of minute crystals does take a lot of time beyond this.
Richa Chadha in Maithili Kabre jewels
Tell us about the most meaningful piece for you. M.K: The most meaningful pieces are the ones that are true to the concept, challenging to achieve and even better when finished. My favourite pieces have been the crystal cross studs and the pearl dazzler studs. The former is geometric, precision driven and I personally like the tiny highlights of colour contrast. The pearl dazzler was a challenge in achieving the right proportions, it has a sense of rhythm and I love the way it swirls out!
What is it about jewellery that turns women on so much? M.K: Jewellery is a mood lifter. A pair of earrings just adds an instant pop to your face and can make you feel a little elevated instantly. Jewellery also has a sense of play when it comes to being a fashion accent, and I think every woman loves expressing herself through what she wears.
Where do we buy your stuff and how much does it cost? M.K: It is available online at www.maithilikabre.com/shop and across stores in India such as Nimai & Ogaan, Delhi; Minerali, Mumbai; Rudraksh, Pune; Golden Window, Guwahati; Almari, Hyderabad; and Bombaim, Kolkata. The price range is Rs 2500 to 15000.