Densely intricate, surprisingly flattering and mesmerizingly compelling jewelry by Vaitaanika is the brainchild of Ageerika Hari. Her ambition of creating elevated yet completely divine pieces is a convincing evocation of eclecticism. The jewelry pieces that seem to add a timelessly glamorous zing to pretty much any kind of outfit, boast of an appeal that goes far beyond the beautiful. Its gamine charm and touch of irreverence encrusted with precious gems has a persuasive, vital energy.
– Text by Kriti Sethi
Ageerika’s work is as pure and unadulterated as the beautiful person she is herself. I spent certain dedicated hours during the past month and a half photographing these sublime pieces (to compile them here for your viewing pleasure of course), while Kriti caught up with this new kid on the block to find out where she gathers all that inspiration, motivation and supreme dedication from. Here’s a closer look at Ageerika’s splendid creations, some shot amid natural surroundings and some modeled by two of her closest and devastatingly gorgeous friends, Aditi and Bani.
What brought about the brand Vaitaanika?
I studied Jewelry Design in Singapore for 3 years and when I came back I decided to start something of my own and learn the ropes of the industry by being a part of it in my own firm and that’s how Vaitaanika was born.
How did the name come about?
“Vaitaanika” is a Sanskrit word that means peace and purity. I was doing a project in the second year of my college for which I named one of the rings as “Vaitaanika” and I fell in love with the name right then. I love the entire idea of having purity in your jewelry, as in using just the purest of materials, from the stones, the metals etc. to the entire design idea. It is all about originality.
How do you define your particular style or approach to design? What inspires you most?
For me, design is what I live. It is an everyday thing. I don’t generally go out looking for inspiration, it just walks up to me. My designs are all very Indian in nature. Each piece has a core base of Indian-ness because I absolutely love my country, its architecture, the culture. So that’s pretty much where I derive all my inspiration from. The very essence of being an Indian inspires me the most. I feel the world needs to know what we are so I try and portray that through my designs.
What would you say is your specialty as a designer that distinguishes you from the rest?
I’d say it’s my originality. I don’t repeat my designs and only create one-off pieces. To an extent that I’ve created a piece in silver and someone wants that in gold, I make sure to have the silver one melted down right after the same design in gold is ready. I do a lot of contemporized Indian jewelry, which gives you the freedom to wear my pieces for all kinds of occasions and team them up with pretty much any kind of outfit, may it be ethnic or western. None of the pieces restrict you from dressing up in any fashion.
What are you most proud of in your work?
TEXTURES! I use a lot of textures. Each of my pieces has a different kind of texture, but this one particular kind called reticulation is seen in a lot of my designs. It just gives the piece a different feel altogether. So I mostly infuse a lot of texture with filigree work. I try to keep all the filigreed jaals very original and unconventional. I sit and design each one of them together with my karigars, always ensuring a certain kind of uniqueness. Besides that I have to say it’s the oversized proportions that my clients are beginning to identify my designs with. I am quite obsessed with oversized rings and earrings that can be worn as statement pieces. So even if you’re wearing just a single piece of jewelry, you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression anywhere you go. My pieces come with a lot of personality.
What can be expected from your current and upcoming projects?
I want my designs to reach out to a larger audience. And so I’m targeting a lot of online stores to retail through. And I’ll be coming up with a more affordable new range for the same very soon. I’m also working on a special range of bespoke watches.
Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
I just wish to gain a decent amount of recognition in the next couple of years. I don’t plan too far ahead for that matter. For now I’m just taking each day as it comes.
Name some artists/designers you admire?
I absolutely adore Sabyasachi’s work. I feel that the kind of jewelry I design, really compliments the kind of ensembles that he creates. I have also been compared a lot to Amarapali, Isharya and the likes, and that feels great indeed since I really admire their work. Besides they’re so well-known so I feel it’s a huge compliment and I feel extremely humbled to hear that. Besides that I quite like Suhani Pittie’s work, which is very unique and must check it out if you haven’t already.
If you had to describe your design style in one word, it would be?
I really can’t think of anything better than Vaitaanika itself! Its just PURE.
Books don’t interest me. The only book I have read with full dedication not one but many times is the book written by my grandfather ‘Hari’s Canteen’ a book containing the memoirs of my grandfather while he was running his canteen for the IAS probationers.
If you had to describe your work in one word you’d say?
Describe HeadTilt in one line.
HeadTilt is a namesake to its blog features.
P.S: If you want to recommend your favorite up-and-coming designer to be featured on our site, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All images are © Surbhi Sethi, 2014. Please do not distribute without permission.
*A big thank you to Vaitaanika for sponsoring this post.