Roma Narsinghani, an artisanal jewellery designer, is set to take over Helsinki Fashion Week (HFW) once again with her new collection Gaia. HFW is a fashion runway platform dedicated to global sustainable designers and brands. This year, it will take place from July 27 to August 1, virtually.
Architectural designs and structural accents have served as her eternal muse for creating handcrafted refined brass jewellery. However, GAIA is a gamechanger because it is based on different phases of one’s life during an uncertain time. Also, this is the first time that she has partnered with an Art Director, Adhiraj Singh; to create a digital collection.
GAIA will make its debut at HFW on July 29 at 20:45 PM (IST).
Luxebook speaks to the designer about her new collection, her first-ever virtual participation in HFW and the universe of metals.
Can you please tell us about you new collection? Gaia is about self-preservation and observation as a medium for connecting to the divine within us. Our minds are so cluttered these days. We don’t breathe clean air. We are stuck to our smartphones and our relationship with the environment is, in a way, superficial. The collection is a story of one’s journey of self cleanse and awakening. I feel like I am going through this transformation right now. I have been meditating for a few years now, but since the lockdown, it’s given me the time to reflect and ask myself questions about how do I see this world? How do I want to be a part of this world? What changes can we bring about moving towards this collective consciousness? This collection is personal and I can communicate my message through the medium of digital storytelling.
Being the winner of the Sustainable Design Award at Helsinki Fashion Week 19′, what is your strategy to secure the title once again? Unfortunately, they are not having any awards this year, maybe because it’s their first digital fashion week. In total, we are 15 designers who are showcasing their works.
How do you think venturing into the digital space will make a difference considering that HFW has always happened on the ground? Do you foresee challenges or blessings? It’s been extremely challenging because it requires re-learning all aspects of design development. However, it is a learning experience that will help us integrate digital tools starting straight from the supply chain. We are creating jewellery as an intangible product by means of digitisation. We started creating our digital samples that eliminate waste, helping us optimise the future production process and materials. By using cutting edge tools such as 3D product design and virtual sampling, we can react faster to market trends while significantly reducing both sample and time-to-market. Focusing on getting a minimum viable product will allow us to integrate while generating value and avoid heavy investments. We are also collaborating with our teams remotely which reduce our carbon footprint.
Art Director Adhiraj Singh calls the collaboration with you seamless. How has partnering with him impacted your work? It’s been an insightful journey. He’s extremely organised and has a specific workflow. It has helped the team to give our virtual collection more structure as all our samples are essentially digital files. Also for me, to really understand that digital is limitless because as an offline designer, I tend to look at all designs in a tangible practice form that is not always surreal. Hence, he’s been great help to push it a step further.
Tell us about your mentor Ersilia Vaudo from the European Space Agency. What can one expect to learn from your live conversation? She’s a force of nature and I have really enjoyed our chats. I’m expecting to have a lot of exciting information on future metals and the universe on the live session taking place on July 20 at 12:30 pm EEST (3.00 pm IST).
You believe ‘Metals have a life of their own’. Please elaborate. Metals react differently to all skins and change in different environments. If you look at a lot of my pieces, they have these antennas. Metals give us zinc and also help us with our joint pain. The way they absorb light and sound is something completely different. The way I look at the metals is that there is a connection to the universe in some way and I believe metals in some way give us that. The reason why I mentioned this is because my conversation with the Astrophysicists and Chief Diversity Officer, Ersilia Vaudo; will be based on this future metal called Regolith. It is a metal that is found on the Moon. In a simpler way, this is how metals can transfer energy. So, anything that can transfer energy has a life.