KASHMIR + MOTHER
The Gul Collection, which is made in 18k yellow, white and rose gold is inspired by my mother, Bilquis, commonly known amongst family as Gul or Gulli, which means rose in the Kashmiri language. I wanted to design a collection that would portray her beautiful grace and elegance, inspiring pieces that were both delicate and powerful, while incorporating the use of positive, radiant colors.
Throughout this collection are three common motifs – the use of ‘mashAllah’, an expression of appreciation, joy, praise or thankfulness; the lion; and the rose. To me, MashAllah, simply put, means gratitude, a virtue always emphasized and taught by my mother. The lion represents strength and bravery. And finally, the use of roses is a literal representation of beauty and a symbol of love.
The names of each of the pieces are taken from common Kashmiri/Persian names. Shahnaz, which means ‘pride of the lion’, is the name used for the lion series. A group of related lions, lioness and offspring is also called a pride. Anousheh, which means happy and fortunate, is the name of a series of necklaces and bracelets, featuring ‘mashAllah’ and little roses, as shown in the image on the right. Another name used for this special collection is Shalimar, which is a very popular garden built during the Mughal times in Srinagar, Kashmir. Shalimar means beautiful and strong. The stones used in the Shalimar series use rose quartz (beautiful) and black diamonds (strong).