Real jewels give you the confidence artificial gems can't: designer Shafaq Habib

Updated 19 Sep, 2015 04:16pm

Images Staff

The Lahore-based jewellery designer says heavy sets with tikas and jhoomars are all the rage

Lahore's Shafaq Habib brings over her coveted statement jewellery to Karachi this weekend
Lahore's Shafaq Habib brings over her coveted statement jewellery to Karachi this weekend

There's never really an off-period for jewellery buying, but it does reach a feverish peak when Eid coincides with the ongoing shaadi season.

Lahore's Shafaq Habib, who has revolutionised gold and diamond jewellery by introducing semi-precious stones of unusual colours, shapes and sizes in the equation, is always a hot seller. Her exhibition in Karachi this Sunday-Monday at Pearl Continental's Hina Hall is a must-attend for those wishing to upgrade their jewellery collection.

Images: Tell us about the collections you've brought to Karachi this time?

Shafaq Habib: I've brought my existing bridal collection, but the statement pieces are all new. There are earrings, bracelets, and pendant sets. They are in high demand, since Eid is around the corner.

Shafaq Habib fuses 22 carat gold with diamonds and semi-precious stones - Publicity photos
Shafaq Habib fuses 22 carat gold with diamonds and semi-precious stones - Publicity photos

Images: A lot of your work is inspired by your travels. Which part of the world has influenced your collections this time?

SH: Yes, I have time to think when I travel. I can absorb the environment of a place, which can help me devise a colour scheme, for example. One of my pieces is inspired by Turkey, another by my trip to France.

Bracelets by Shafaq Habib - Publicity photos
Bracelets by Shafaq Habib - Publicity photos

Images: What trends can you foresee for the upcoming bridal season?

SH: I think people are now going for heavier pieces. They want the jhoomar, the tika, a big necklace set, the works.

Shafaq Habib's bridal sets - Publicity photos
Shafaq Habib's bridal sets - Publicity photos

Images: How is your Karachi clientele different from the one in your homebase, Lahore?

SH: I love Karachiites. They are so much more focused in their buying. Lahore is a rat race, where they try to buy everything, but Karachiites get the piece they really want. They like pearls, and semi-precious stones, and polki is a hit everywhere. All of my statement pieces have polki.

Shafaq Habib's jewellery for simpler occasions - Publicity photos
Shafaq Habib's jewellery for simpler occasions - Publicity photos

Images: Have you considered maintaining a permanent stock in Karachi, instead of exhibitions?

SH: I've been exhibiting my jewellery for 25 years. I used to have a store within PFDC at Park Towers, but that closed down. The city's halaat were bad a few years ago, so I had stopped doing exhibitions as well for a while. Now conditions have improved.

Images: Do you have a favourite piece or two from the collection?

SH: There's a statement piece with emerald and polki that I really like, and another with pearl and polki.

Images: Is there anything else you'd like to tell your buyers?

SH: We work with 22 carat gold and real stones, and we don't believe in costume jewellery at all. If you don't have the budget for it, my advice would be to get fewer or smaller pieces , but get the real thing. It gives you the kind of confidence which artificial jewellery can not. It's long-lasting, and can be passed down to future generations, unlike costume jewellery that will break and the stones will fade.

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