On this side of the hemisphere, fine jewellery hasn’t really been culturally associated with men. But, we happily note, that is changing fast!
In the Indian jewellery tradition, the art of adornment applies to men, women, children, animals, trees and statues of the gods. Indian jewelry is as old as Indian civilization itself. The ruins of the Indus Valley, going back to 5000 years, show examples of figures decorated with flowers and beads, carved wood, shell and bone all carved out of stone.
Today, not only in India, but also on this side of the world, it is thanks to men such as Harry Styles, Johnny Depp and Jordan Barrett, it seems like jewellery is quickly becoming a fixture in any man’s wardrobe.
We turned to our own expert in all things fine and stylish, our Creative Producer Pieter van Loon, to hear his take on things…:
PvL: “Let me start by pointing out that in general, when we refer to Indian traditional jewelry people often immediately think of that beautiful ‘sari wearing, bejeweled Indian woman’. But let’s certainly not skip the donned and bedecked Indian men!
Among the illustrious Indian princes, jewellery was a symbol of power, opulence and prestige.
Look at the Maharajas of Patiala, of Kapurthala, the Nabab of Arcot, the courtiers around the Nizam of Hyderabad… There was rivalry in finery, gold and gems, bejeweled swords and regalia like the Sapech and the Kalgi, both turban ornaments.
Today in India, one sees hardly any man without a ring, bracelet, chain, charm, or earrings.”
“To my delight, we currently notice a big shift here too, in men wearing fine jewellery. Like always it started on the runways and the red carpet, here Timothée Chalamet deserves an accolade for his Academy Awards 2020 look with a vintage Cartier ruby and diamond brooch pinned to his lapel.
Men’s jewels found their way into the daily as well. The current mood in menswear is quality and confidence so it makes total sense creating a pin-to-lapel-moment to personalize that look.”
“The jewels of choice for men in my opinion are rather a subtle accent to enhance a person’s personality, and not necessarily defining who he is. A jewel with a sense of timeless quality and completely androgynous. Yes, they could be a conversation piece, but never overpowering.
The one who got that nailed to perfection was Yeshwant Rao Holkar II, the Maharaja of Indore. Born in 1908 the Maharaja spared no expense in pursuing his passion for all things Modern. The Maharaja of Indore also famous for his jewellery collection.
One of our favorite pieces from his collection is this simple yet stunning 18th century oval-shaped 23.20-carat sapphire taveez bead, suspended from a fine white gold link chain by Cartier.
Oozing timeless beauty, quality and confidence all the way!“
“Women have long borrowed their boyfriends’ shirts, shortly followed by the boyfriend jeans…, and to my guess they’ll be soon after our jewelry, too!”