Ravissant is one of Delhis plushest designer stores known for its spectacular couture and its haute interior accessories. Now, its redefining luxury with a bouquet of products in 92.5 per cent sterling silver. The new collection takes opulence to another level with dinner services — at the lower end — that come with silvery price tags teetering around Rs 25 lakh. You can also lay out a royal spread for your guests on dinner services worth half a crore (and counting).
|From top: Ned Vernon; Micahel Boy and Karl Millard of Ravissant
Ravissant entered the silverware domain back in 1991 but it has travelled a long way since then. Ravissant silverware now is visual extravaganza: stylish bar accessories, accent pieces, sculptures, candelabras and also chairs made with the gleaming white metal.
And the men behind the exquisite craftsmanship — Karl Millard, Michael Boy and Ned Vernon — have a quirky take on the lavish designs. The design must have a story to it, says Australian designer Millard. These designers are armed with advanced degrees in silversmithing and are internationally acclaimed for their design sensibilities and their superb mastery over the metal.
No wonder then that Ravissant commissioned them for its one-off silver collections that are coveted for their exclusivity and craftsmanship. While all the limited edition pieces created by the trio are sold under the Ravissant signature, each one brings their individual skills to the creative table.
Millard is an old hand at designing in silver. In fact, his one-off collections are displayed at prestigious addresses like the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and Hamilton Art Gallery in Victoria. He worked his way up doing an extraordinary array of assignments including the Urban Construction Theatre Project in Melbourne, Vitalis Construction Group and the National Gallery of Victoria under his belt.
Fellow Aussie designer Ned Vernon has also been captivated by the glittering metal from an early age. He recalls saving money to buy silver from a friends dad when he was just 15. I remember walking home with the piece of silver and wondering what I would make from it, says he.
After school, he went right ahead to complete a degree in Gold and Silversmithing from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
German designer Michael Boy, however, has had more than a brush with precious metals. Along with professional training in Goldsmithing, he skilled at silversmithing, enamelling,stone setting and gemology. He also teaches at some of the leading design institutes in India, including the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Its hardly surprising that silver has become a hot investment option because prices are escalating steeply. It also lends itself well to interior design. With the growing taste for luxury products, Ravissant has extended its range to include corporate and personal gifting options.
The designer trio infuses their cultural influences into their pieces. While Millard opts for unconventional designing principles, Boy prefers traditional techniques, giving them a new meaning.
For instance, Millard is a stickler for sharp lines and flat surfaces. This is in contrast to traditional silversmithing techniques, he says. Boy, on the other hand, maintains that coming from a German background made him adopt a more rational and functional approach to design but he has imbibed Indian design principles equally fast. Living in India certainly has changed my perception in terms of ornamentation and surface embellishment, he says. And Vernon is a fan of regional patterns and interesting colour schemes and tries to incorporate it in his designs.
The designers definitely have aces up their sleeves in the form of luxurious dinner services that include napkin rings, cutlery and serving dishes, centre-pieces, candle-stands and bar accessories. Most of the dinner services are made to order and are customised according to the personal preferences of their patrons. So you can have semi-precious stone detailing on your silver dining sets if you want. The prices vary between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 50 lakh depending on the number of pieces and the degree of customisation.
Most of Ravissants creations flaunt clean lines and are never overtly ornate. But there are occasional flashes of colour in the form of turquoise and green enamel work. The prize picks in the silver enamelling section are the leaf-shaped silver bowls with green enamelwork. Each of the bowls comes in a different shade of green, ranging from turquoise to teal, imitating the subtle details of an actual leaf. Expect to pay around Rs 38,200 for this item.
Furniture is another new addition to Ravissants luxury portfolio. There are classy silver chairs with slim legs and an intricate headrest to woo the aesthetes. But the price of this sleekly designed piece is on request only.
Surface embellishments and detailing on silver is a characteristic feature of the store as well. There are embellishments in the form of semi-precious stones like rose quartz that adorn the handles of gleaming silver teapots and sugar bowls. Youll have to shell out Rs 58,900 for the teapot, Rs 25,300 for the sugar pot, and Rs 23,300 milk pot.