Statement style 

TV anchor Archana Vijaya seals it with a ‘KISS’

By Saionee Chakraborty
  • Published 8.02.18
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Archana Vijaya in her Label KISS jewellery at Coral which hosted a showing of the line. The 1A Lovelock Place (Ballygunge, near The Calcutta Punjab Club) design den will stock a curation from the label. Pictures: Rashbehari Das

Archana Vijaya has never been a girlie girl. And her jewellery line — Label KISS — is a reflection of that. In town recently to showcase her label for the first time, the star anchor chatted with t2 on her love for accessories and much more.

Congratulations on your first showing in Calcutta!

This is very special! I was waiting for the right time, I wanted to have a full collection. I have come with a curation of four collections — Circulo, Raindrop, Kai-ra and Gatsby.

When I started Label KISS, I was basically curating for the website. Six months ago I decided to design my own collection. This is all my design, handcrafted in Jaipur.

My jewellery is all about affordable luxury. The idea is to bring amazing fashion to everyone because I was privileged enough during my entire career to have stylists, but I found that for young people of today, in India especially, there is a huge gap in the market between designerwear and mass-wear. I wanted to be able to bridge that gap. I wanted to give people the opportunity to wear cool, global trends like my statement rings and earrings.

They are minimal, yet striking…

That’s the idea… it’s without being too out there… I like it if I just wear a pair of earrings with a ring. Let people ask you where you got it from. I don’t want to do too many pieces in one collection and I want to keep coming out with a collection every three months.

The Indian consumer is getting savvy and price-conscious. So, you need to cater to a world that is evolving. What I also realised is that in India offline is still king, unless you are an Amazon or Jabong because they have unlimited digital marketing budgets. Which is why we branched out offline.

A glimpse of Archana’s Label KISS line that she got to Calcutta. The range comprises statement earrings, rings and neckpieces that are all contemporary and good to take you from work to party.  

 

What is your design process?

I get a lot of inspiration from travelling. Also, I just take it from real life, my own sort of feeling and vibe. Like, somewhere in my head, I feel like Cleopatra… so, I created Kai-ra. I wanted everyone to have that Cleopatra moment. I wanted everyone to unravel the goddess in them. They are very statement-ey, bold, beaten gold with a little undulating effect on them.

Gatsby is a collection I am developing, but I got the pieces here thinking people might like it. So, I still have to add five or six more pieces to it. That’s for my love for everything 1920s. I love art deco, the swing and the flapper dresses and the headgear. I started to sketch again for Label KISS. 

What are your earliest memories of jewellery?

As a kid, while growing up, I used to stack up my mother’s bangles and dance to Mere hathon mein nau nau. I remember being very fond of accessories. I love accessories because they can make or break an outfit. Bags and shoes are my most favourite things in the world.

I have more than 100 bags. I am guilty of owning over 300 pairs of shoes, out which I only wear five. If I like a pair of shoes, they belong to me. My Havaianas chappals are my go-to shoes. Comfort! But I also love my Christian Louboutins. I also wear the classic keds... in black. I have actually just bought a new pair of Jimmy Choo. I love beautiful-looking shoes, but it’s because of the heels I don’t quite wear them. One of my most favourite, comfortable, go-to heels in the world is the YSL Tribute. Anyone who owns a pair can jump on the moon! I also like sneakers a lot. Golden Goose and Veja are two of my favourite brands. I was so glad when the sneaker trend came about. Comfy sneakers are all the way into 2018 without a doubt. I wear it with anything and everything, but I don’t wear plain white sneakers ever. I have this Maison Margiela pair which has got fur and silver stuff going on.

What were the first accessories that you started collecting?

Big bracelets. 

And how has that changed over the years?

My collection has become a cupboard! I am still the biggest fan of rings and earrings... big, statement rings. I am not a very necklace person, but I like some statement neckpieces. Right now, I am a big fan of oxidised silver jewellery as an alternative to gold.

What will you be wearing a lot this spring-summer?

I am actually going to be travelling to Barbados. So, it’s going to be a lot of summer dresses, espadrilles, crop tops, a lot of flowy skirts, a lot of asymmetrical maxis… also a little bit of anti-fit… I cannot bear to wear body-con dresses... totally 2000! I like a mix of relaxed and sexy.

Gucci again. Alessandro Michele (Gucci’s creative director) has completely transformed that brand. He has made it so cool, so aspirational. I like fanny packs a lot. So, I have got a Gucci fanny pack. It will be my go-to accessory. I think we are going back to that grunge-comfy sort of vibe which I like.

The Pantone shade for 2018 is ultra violet. I am not a big fan, but I like a baby lilac or baby purple. If I were to do it at all, it would be a much deeper shade. For me, a royal blue is a lot nicer than the ultra violet. I am a big fan of lime green and fuchsia pink. I like classics… they never go out of fashion. My most favourite colour in the world, which isn’t even a colour, is black. I also have a thing for white. Most of my wardrobe, even if you see my bikinis, have a touch of monochrome. I also like print-on-print…. Trackpants, dude! Printed trackpants, trackpants with a thing going on the sides, whether it’s red, gold or black….

And minimal make-up to go with it?

It literally takes me five minutes to do my make-up. I have stopped using foundation. Today I have used BB cream with a tint in it... Christian Dior BB cream. I use the NARS Alice tint, which is limited edition. I have searched across the world and I have managed to get five which are in my house! For me, creamy tint is the way to go. Powder is out. For my cheeks, I only use a tint, I put them on my eyes also. That works wonders for me.

What I do like is a bit of highlight, not just on the cheeks, but a little bit on my nose and a little bit above my lip too. Otherwise, keep it natural. I am also a big fan of the glossy eye. It’s also great to go from day to night.

I like the lipstick shade that I am wearing right now… it’s this very berry colour from NARS… berry, pinkish, purplish, maroon-ish. You can wear it during the day as well as night.

You are still wearing the eyeliner…

Yeah, but in brown. Black liner is out unless you are wearing just that with a red lip and a lot of mascara. 

Finally, happy anniversary (February 3)! What plans?

I am in Goa. I will be celebrating my anniversary with my dearest husband. I will be on the beach, lying down, drinking sangria… the sun, the sand, the sea… I don’t think I’ll be needing anything more. Perfect start to my marriage year! Life is great!