Be it Burmese rubies or a handmade gold-finished golf set, luxuristas give us a sneak peek of their one precious piece of luxury.
Prasad Bidapa, Fashion Guru
“Dhoti De Luxe. In crazy, chaotic Kolkata, a city I am in love with, with its decaying beauty and beautiful women, there stands a shop called Adi Dhakeshwari Bastralay, which sells the finest muslin dhotis in exquisite varieties. The shop is sprawling, with pictures of their famous customers on the wall. Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi seriously contemplates a beautiful dhakai cotton while top actress Suchitra Sen sits amidst a sea of silken ikats. From the lightest of pure-white beautifully woven five meter lengths, as pure as air, to the heavy cream and gold bridegroom’s dhotis - the dazzling array is spread out on old teakwood showcases for your delectation. Shonkar Da is my favourite salesman. He knows what I am looking for and pulls out the simple ‘shaada’ daily wear cottons with thin-coloured borders. I choose half a dozen, and then come the elaborate evening wear dhotis. Each piece is unique and beautiful. From the deepest anthracite to rich midnight blues, I know that each piece is an original and cannot be duplicated. This is true luxury - a handwoven treasure. I pick a deep olive green with a gold border and a rich crimson with a black and gold border that is stunning in its impact. The dhobhi comes to pick up my dhotis. And a day later, he will deliver them to my hotel with each dhoti crinkled into the pleated ‘chunat’ work they do so exquisitely. When they arrive, each dhoti rolled into a tube and ready to be packed, I reflect on the rare beauty of each piece, knowing that to me these are my sartorial treasures, each piece hoarded and opened only for the most special of shows and occasions. My kind of luxury!”
Geetanjali Kirloskar, Business Tycoon (Director, Kirloskar Group of Companies)
“For me, luxury is the highest value that must appeal to my senses and not utility. My art collection that I have picked up from my travels from all over the world over 25 years, is my most precious piece of luxury. I own more than 50 pieces of brilliant art work. Paintings, sculptures, installations and art-photography done on the walls of my house. I have bought a wide range of works from seniors like Manu Parekh, M.F. Hussain, Souza, Tagore, Badri Narayan, and K.K. Hebbar to emerging young artists from all over the world.
Second, my vanilla four-star golf set from the high-end Japanese brand,Honma Golf is very precious to me. I enjoy golf and this fine set facilitates my love for the sport. I bought the entire set of 14 hand-made, gold-finished golf clubs with an expensive electric pink-colour golf bag for it. This golf set is a piece of art. I take great care of it. When I pick up something that is more evolved than the highest point, it is luxury for me.”
Sanchita Ajjampur, Fashion Designer
“Luxury for me is an emotional experience that cannot be achieved through products alone. Constant travelling and a nomadic childhood have culminated in eclectic influences of global reach. A distillation of vivid memories have been garnered from my Viennese upbringing, schooling in the United Kingdom and studies in the art and design cities of Milan and Paris, highlighted by trips to Europe’s art museums as a teenager that sparked my love of the mood of the Secession movement (artists Klimt and Schiele) that emerged in Vienna in 1897. As a result of my background, luxury to me has always meant authentic and original vintage. If I were to pick one piece that symbolises luxury for me, it would be my silk jacquard Poiret peacoat that I bought when I was a student from Didier Ludot, a Parisian vintage boutique for collectors. Entering into a world of collectors and global travellers, my definition of luxury can best be described as that of a cultural nomad whose eye for craftsmanship and recherché quality has led me to choose pieces of timeless expression.”
Nicole Faria, Miss Earth 2010 & Actress
“My prize possession is my Frederique Constant watch. Central features like the rose gold, diamonds and mother of pearl catch the eye. The watch is a new model in the 2014 Ladies Automatic “World Heart Federation” (WHF) collection. The luxury brand from Geneva supports the WHF’s ‘Hearts of Children’ campaign. A certain percentage of each watch that is sold goes to WHF, where a child gets a free heart scan. Somehow you give back to society. That defines luxury.”
Manoviraj Khosla, Fashion Designer
“My most precious piece of luxury is my house in Goa. I built it four years ago. I love Goa. It is a great retreat. You reach the city in 45 minutes by flight from Bangalore. Or on an impulse you can decide to take a fantastic road trip to Goa. The city gives you a brilliant combination of day and night life. Most cities offer you only either. But Goa – from wake up to sleep time – gives you great options to stay on the beach, sleep by the pool, fabulous food at great restaurants to superb parties that go on till 6 am. You can swing between hectic and non-hectic periods in Goa. You can relax during peaceful monsoons and enjoy the neurotic December season. Many times, I have friends over from all over India at my Goa home and we holiday together. Having a house in Goa is pure luxury. It is something I really use a lot as I visit Goa at least 15 to 20 times a year. For me, my Goa house is a great perk, a great escape.”
Mira Gulati, Founder & Principal Designer, Mirari.
It’s difficult for me to choose one piece of luxury.
Many jewels at Mirari encompass the definition of luxury for me. Mirari’s Ruby Embrace set in rare Burmese rubies, Classic shield necklace with a unique 5.77 carat shield solitaire at the helm of the design and Mirari’s Drops Of Heaven earrings with the most intricate detailing are some of my personal luxurious picks.
Luxury for me is an amalgamation of quality, extraordinary design and visionary creativity.
I’ve always been inspired by the daring, extravagant jewellery worn by the maharanis from our romantic design past. I love our extraordinary design history, which made such a glorious feature of excess. And what I really like to do is to take the very best of our Indian traditions and make them our own.
Luxury for me is also reflected in pieces that live on in the memory long after the event- exquisite jewels each with a story to tell.