Poonam Soni is giving old jewellery a second chance with her RLJ collection

Jewellery designer Poonam Soni cues us in on how she’s giving old jewellery a chance to step out of the shadows and shine with her RLJ (Reviving Locker Jewels) line!

History has borne witness to many life-altering creations of symphony and art during the most turbulent of times, and the pandemic was such a time for me. It led to a shift in perspective and encouraged a move from brand-centric ideals to using my creativity for social preservation. The result of which was ‘RLJ by Poonam Soni’.

Reinventing the forgotten
Let’s jump back to the end of 2020; I was approached by clients across India for wedding jewels and was inspired to take a new approach. I knew that most women had lockers full of jewellery they didn’t use – heirloom pieces that have been passed down and have emotional value, but don’t always fit their sense of style, or gifts that aren’t exactly to their tastes. So I encouraged them to let me create new pieces that were more suited to their style – without melting them.

A new approach
Adopting a new style of working on jewellery that would not damage their character, I used a technique of cut, stitch and mount, and added new motifs and textures. The finished pieces were dramatically different from the original!

The design style I used for this collection is reminiscent of the Royal Victorian art nouveau. The already crafted gold is highlighted with vintage floral motifs in basra pearls, pale emerald flakes or vivid cabochon rubies with gold wire work around it. The diamonds I use are eco-friendly. They are man-made, uniquely shaped ones as compared to mined diamonds which disturb the ecological balance. Each piece gets its character from the existing base and is truly unique. The collection also draws on influences from temple jewellery and old India.

Giving back
Handicraftsmen have always been close to my heart as they carry forward India’s legacy of exquisite craftsmanship. They have been indispensable in crafting this collection.

At the heart of it all…
I am truly enjoying designing these one-of-a-kind pieces. There is a bit of my heart in every piece of this collection. It is all about giving back to the universe.

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