VAIBHAV DHADDA, creative head and founder of the eponymously named jewellery brand, makes it a point to stand out in the crowd. His signature collection features a unique selection of gradient gemstones cut painstakingly to create a semblance of a rainbow. SHANOO BIJLANI met him at the Jaipur Jewellery Show to know more about his technical craft and creations.
Jewellery designer Vaibhav Dhadda’s journey into jewellery designing began in earnest four years ago with the launch of the Gradient collection. Vaibhav works primarily with tapered baguettes of various colour gradients. It took him six years of dedicated and single-minded effort – and loads of patience – to master the technique of cutting the baguettes into tapered shapes and channel setting them to create patterns. “There is no margin for error in setting the stones,” he says.
“The stones have to be customcut in a way that they are placed in channel settings perfectly.”
A second-generation jeweller, Vaibhav’s father founded Jaipur Jewels, a company that specialises in tapered baguettes and carved cameos imported from Germany. The cameos are adapted for the Indian market with carvings of Ganesha, Khalsa and Om inlays, and jewellery dressed with plique-à-jour vitreous enamelling techniques. “My father has been travelling to Germany for the last 30 years regularly for business.”
An alumnus of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi, Vaibhav went onto a different trajectory after graduation and completed his Master’s in International Business from Graduate School of Business in France. “I chose France because I wanted to get into the luxury segment. It is then that I got a break in Dior,” he informs.
Keeping quality above everything else was a practice that was ingrained in him when he worked as a retail store manager for Dior Homme at DLF Emporio, Delhi. He was struck by the beauty of the Dior VIII Grand Bal collection and it inspired him for its precise channel setting of exquisitely coloured stones. It was a eureka moment for him. “Why can’t I design jewellery set with tapered baguettes?” he thought to himself. That gave birth to the Gradient collection.
For the Gradient collection, Vaibhav hand-picked lustrous gemstones that move from dark to light shades. “It was a combination of Italian-French design incorporating German perfectionism, to create a symmetrical asymmetry that was visually appealing,” the designer reveals. The jewels were further enhanced with pave-set diamonds.
Vaibhav has effectively used gradient colour rubies, emeralds, sapphires, green and pink tourmalines, tsavorites, peridots, amethysts, citrine, aquamarine, garnets, and blue and yellow topaz in his collection.
Extensive travelling helps him establish a moodboard, symbolic of the places he visits around the world. His other muse is the gemstone. His jewellery pulsates with colour.
“All of us in the family are aware of Western aesthetics and we have imbibed that over the years because of our constant visits to Germany and other parts of the world. Gemstones beckon me to create designs, and jewellery is always on my mind.
“I need to expand the base of existing designs. It is easy to design more, but first I need to establish my signature.”