Rajasthan is known for its rich heritage and vibrant culture. A city with rich traditions, the pink city bursts with colour and flamboyance. The state is dotted with towering personalities as well as a rich tradition of royal folklore. When talking about Rajasthan, mentioning Jaipur is inevitable, and once you mention Jaipur, you can’t resist the attraction of intricately designed jewellery the city offers. The city of Jaipur is renowned for gems, stones, jewellery, and craftsmanship and is the world’s largest hub for gem cutting, stone sourcing, and precious gems. Now that we are talking about Jaipur’s jewellery, we must not overlook the jewel in the crown.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Sudhir Kasliwal, one of the founders of GEM PALACE. Furthermore, he is also a renowned photographer who captures the beauty of his motherland, Rajasthan. He is an individual with many talents. In addition to preserving automobile heritage, he organises vintage car rallies, which is one of the most prestigious events in Jaipur.
During a tete a tete with him, HIGH ON PERSONA discussed a multitude of issues covering a wide variety of dimensions. He sat with us for an extended period of time at GEM PALACE, a building that evokes the state’s architectural richness.
Q. How do you preserve the glory of Gem Palace with its majestic designs over several decades and still carry them forward?
Even though self-praise is not a recommendation, I would say our ancestors and predecessors never took it as a business just for making money. However, they always felt pride in serving the creme de la creme with their expertise. Gem palace is a brand that bridges Indian heritage, culture and aesthetics with the rest of the world.
Q. Is it true that to own jewellery by Gem Palace one has to pay through the nose?
Not at all, we have a wide range to suit every pocket. Starting from silver jewellery in the price bracket of Rs. 500 to diamond-encrusted jewellery that costs a million.
Q. How has Jaipur made an impact on the international stage when it when it comes to jewellery?
Throughout history, India has been known as the eldorado of gems and jewels. Jaipur has always been associated with precious gems and jewels, serving as the world’s largest hub for Hand-cut stones, precious and semiprecious gems and jewellery. Bejewelled artefacts remain in the wish list of fashion cognoscenti across the world. In Jaipur, the jewellery trade has always thrived and the fascination for jewellery has always captivated overseas buyers.
Q. Given the myriad of choices consumers have today, how would you describe their inclinations?
It is quite tangible how the trends are moving and styles are changing in the jewellery business, for instance, the regal designs of Jaipur are being tweaked with the vibrancy of youth. This is a transitional period, The transition from traditional to new currently relevant.
Q. There is no doubt that your jewellery is distinctive. Could you tell me what makes it unique?
Every single piece of Gem Palace is a confluence of royal charm infused with contemporary flair that speaks of glorious heritage and regal saga. From Trends that prevailed in the times of Mughals and Maharajas, antique jewels of the Mughlas era, Rajputana charm to the contemporary chic pieces.
Q. How has your client base emerged over the years?
From Maharajas to modern connoisseurs, from upper echelon. From the bourgeois to society, we have catered to all. Since the time of maharajas, our clientele has expanded including royal lineage. Queen Elizabeth 11, president John F Kennedy, first lady Jackie Kennedy, Late Princess Diana, Hillary Clinton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Oprah Winfrey, Judy Dench, Nicole Kidman, Goldie hawn, Mick Jagger, Prince Charles, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and the list goes on.
Q. You must have encountered almost every bigwig from different genres. Who do youthink is the epitome of style and elegance?
Without giving a second thought I would say Maharani Rajmaata Gayatri Devi. She symbolised style, elegance and grace. While underscoring simplicity and modesty. Even if she only wore a pearl necklace, she would look ravishing. Even at the age of 90 she carried a charming persona.
Q. What remains an inspiration for you in photography, jewellery and vintage car rallies?
Rajasthan’s spellbinding life, captivating landscapes and rich heritage have always inspired my work as an amateur photographer. Vintage cars are also the symbol and synonym for royalty grandiosity and rich heritage. We always had a passion for such cars, and so are the descendants. We have restored the oldies and pampered them enough to keep the passion alive.
Q. What invoked your passion for jewellery whereas your passion lied in photography?
Through the medium of jewellery, I got the liberty and luxury of expression and a platform to carry out ideas, but there is something more to jewellery than just art. The jewellery business was a natural choice for me and my brothers. This was in our genes and my passion for photography further augmented it to bring out my creativity. I used to shoot patterns from architecture, heritage, nature and rustic village life for reference that could serve as an inspiration for my work in jewellery.