Padma Lakshmi is concocting a new recipe, and this one isn’t from a cookbook.
The host of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” who is also a model and all-around gastronome, has introduced her own jewelry line stimulated by the things that surround her most frequently — cooking ingredients.
“It’s inspired by things like seeds and pods, like cardamom, lentils and cloves,” said the Indian-born Lakshmi, whose passions also include traveling, writing books and articles and producing documentaries. “I wanted jewelry that isn’t big or grand. I wanted to make something with an exotic lilt and a nod to my background.”
Called Padma, the collection consists of more than 50 styles of 10-karat and 14-karat gold jewelry, including necklaces, rings and cuffs. The line goes from day to night, including delicate arm cuffs with citrine briolettes, four-row gold cuffs with charms and dangling gold earrings reminiscent of a common kitchen sight: a fish bone. Several details echo Lakshmi’s Indian heritage, which incorporates jewelry as a symbol of beauty and wealth.
Padma ranges in retail price from $375 to $6,600 and hits Bergdorf Goodman in May.
“I’ve always loved jewelry and have collected pieces from my grandmother and aunts,” Lakshmi said. “In India, a woman’s dowry is in the form of jewelry.”
Several of the pieces, such as a the calla lily charm ring, dangle making a wind chime-like sound. Others are subtle but surprising, like a sautoir necklace with a long chain that dips low in the front and grazes the back. A handpiece with a ring attached to a chain bracelet is more comfortable than one might imagine.
“I have cooked a whole dinner with that one,” she said.
A subcollection in the line, called Nav, is based on the ancient Hindu philosophy of balancing a person’s life force, called prana or chi.
As such, she incorporated the nine essential stones that should be worn at all times to achieve this balance, including sapphires, diamonds and pearls. There are colored gemstone bangles and dainty drop earrings featuring all nine navaratna stones.
“Stones have a powerful, energetic pull,” Lakshmi said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast