This was the first pair of statement earrings that I designed, back in 2015 (how has it been 8 years already?!). This striking pair of earrings was part of my Empire Collection.
The collection was inspired by the royal, tribal and colonial jewellery that was prevalent during the British Raj era in India, infused with the urban, edgy nature of London.
I knew from the start that APL would be all about merging my hybrid culture (roots in India, now settled in London via Africa), and this collection reflects that…although I have to say it’s from very early in my journey of learning the cultural, social and political ramifications and influences of the Empire and colonialism.
Since then, I’ve done a lot of work unpicking my initial understanding of the Empire - which I admit was pretty rose tinted. Through reading, watching, listening to and conversing with the community, I’ve learnt a lot more about what the Empire meant since then and have a different view on things now.
That said, the pieces in the Empire collection are ones I’m really proud of. With the Maharani earrings, the amount of detail is something that I truly love, as well as the size of the earrings - talk about making a statement! Maharani does mean Queen after all!
The materials I’ve used - wood, acrylic and Mother of Pearl - are all still regularly used in my pieces to this day and they’re what makes these large earrings lightweight.
What brought the Maharani Earrings back into my focus was my recent project “My Adornment is my Power” with the National Trust’s Kedleston Hall. A big focus of this project was to reframe perceptions of adornment and reclaim the pieces from their colonial history. As part of this project, our model Kesha wore the Maharani earrings which was a really powerful way for me to reclaim my own understanding of British history and my Empire collection. You can read more about My Adornment is my Power here.
The Maharani Earrings, at their core, are about making you feel like a Queen - in control, powerful, beautiful. They’re available in gold, rose gold and silver and also available as a big and small version. Shop them here.