October 10, 2015 Asmita Aggarwal

Right Raga

Vyshanvi of the jewellery label Dvibhumi, cuts out bling and keeps it conversational in her tradition-soaked pieces.

1. When did you launch your label?
I launched Dvibhumi in April 2014 with three capsule stories founded in enduring memories of my childhood and travels.


2. Why is it called Dvibhumi?
Dvibhumi is a Sanskrit word that translates to “two earths”. It represents a flow of thought from my two interconnected worlds, India, where I grew up, and South-east Asia, where I currently live, work and travel.


3. Where did you study fashion? Why did you choose fashion?
Actually I haven’t studied fashion at all! Design, on the other hand is something I love, and I hope to find the time to study it formally sometime. I believe that it’s the fashion industry that is trying to find a place for me within its evolving space and not the other way around. I’m just doing my thing.


4. What is the ideology of your label?
It’s only been a year and I don’t want to get ahead of myself by declaring an ideology. What I do know is what space I’m in at the moment. I started Dvibhumi to create contemporary design with a narrative that is firmly rooted in Asian heritage. In a world where fast fashion is quick to dismiss curiosity, specificity and detail, Dvibhumi’s aesthetic represents an emergent thinking that is modern and embraces stories unique to life in Asia.


5. What is your SS16 story?
I have always been captivated by the world of Indian classical music, architecture and Asian performing arts. Dvibhumi’s latest work is a new chapter in its continuing music inspired Kutcheri story that was launched last year. Rhythm-Rawa-Riyaz is a meditation on the rigour and aesthetics of Indian classical music expressed through the use of granulation (rawa), clean lines, repetitive patterns and visual rhythm. I designed ‘Rhythm-Rawa-Riyaz’ in Singapore where Dvibhumi and I are based, and collaborate with artisans in Jaipur who handcraft each piece and detail to life with great skill and care.


6. What are the techniques that you work with?
I currently work with silver and brass. Local stories and techniques are the foundation of my work.There’s geometry, and all of it is Asia inspired. I also use traditional techniques like rawa granulation and customise traditional motifs and patterns in collaboration with artisans. I like restraint, so I use monochrome and matte finishes. This means you’ll find conversation pieces, but you won’t find bling or unnecessary embellishment.


7. What do you think modern Indian women want to wear now?
I think today’s consumer wants to know rather than just show. So it’s less about bold statements and more about interesting dialogue. Little about bling, more about rich story and craft. She’s looking for something that’s versatile and easy to wear, but sophisticated enough to feed her curiosity.


8. What has been the biggest challenge for you this far?
As a new designer, my challenges are plenty but not unique to me. The biggest one is finding, defining and establishing a relationship with my audience. When you’re experimenting with a new aesthetic, building an audience takes a lot of effort and requires a dispassionate view. It’s taking time simply because I’m too close to my work and currently I’m doing everything on my own.


9. Design-wise what is your biggest strength and weakness?
I think my strength is my ability to chisel out something unfamiliar from familiar themes. I’m plugged into the contemporary themes, and at the same time create things that are intensely personal and individualistic. But I’m in awe of jewellery designers who have mastery over materials. That sort of alchemy is something I hope to find the time to learn and explore.

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