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Home / Culture / Style / A Puja lookbook in Nikiss artisan jewellery featuring Ushoshi and a bunch of little girls

A Puja lookbook in Nikiss artisan jewellery featuring Ushoshi and a bunch of little girls

The campaign shoot conceptualized by mother-daughter duo Niki and Anya aims to celebrate every woman and the power within them
Ushoshi dons the Agomoni piece in this shot that celebrates Devi Durga’s arrival. The statement neckpiece is designed with one of Devi Durga’s weapons, the trishul, and Ma Durga’s trinayan.
Ushoshi dons the Agomoni piece in this shot that celebrates Devi Durga’s arrival. The statement neckpiece is designed with one of Devi Durga’s weapons, the trishul, and Ma Durga’s trinayan.

Priyanka A. Roy   |   Published 17.09.22, 12:24 AM

Calcutta-based jewellery brand Nikiss Artisan Jewellery that has been creating sustainable fashion jewellery pieces to tell meaningful tales through their craft, has come up with their festive collection called Maya.

Maya features metal and 24-carat gold-plated jewellery pieces created with a fusion of natural elements like jute and soil. Taking assistance from local artisans to create the jute work, the brand also aimed to support and promote local craftsmanship through its creations. Enhanced with meenakari detailing, the collection with nine stunning pieces highlights different aspects related to Devi Durga, including her nine incarnations and the Puja rituals, and have been named accordingly.

Besides taking care of the environmental aspect through their jewellery creation, Nikiss by Niki and Anya Sawansukha also stands by the underprivileged of the society. This t2 exclusive lookbook features former Miss Universe India 2010 Ushoshi Sengupta, who is also the Goodwill ambassador of Urmi Basu’s NGO New Light, along with the children from the organisation. New Light, the 25-year-old organisation, supports and provides a safe space for children of survivors of gender-based violence in the bylanes of Kalighat and Sonagachi.

The campaign shoot conceptualized by mother-daughter duo Niki and Anya aims to celebrate every woman and the power within them. The Telegraph shares snapshots from the spectacular shoot:

Ushoshi sports the stunning Ardhnarishwar piece in this frame. A combination of the three words — ‘Ardha’, ‘Nari’ and ‘Ishwar’, which means a deity that is half man and half woman, that is Shiv and Parvati together, is the concept behind this piece. The piece is exquisitely detailed with weapons and elements that are related to both Shiv and Parvati.

I am extremely grateful to Niki for conceptualising something so beautiful and meaningful for me. This shoot is special as it features the children of New Light — an organisation founded by Urmi Basu which provides education and a safe space for the children who are survivors of gender-based violence, abuse and trafficking. I have been their Goodwill ambassador for the last five years. Each piece from this collection is unique, powerful and truly depicts what Durga Puja and the struggle of these children stand for. Niki and Anya have put their soul into designing the pieces
- Ushoshi Sengupta

The children in the frame are wearing (l-r) the Trinayan piece that represents the ‘Third Eye’ of Ma Durga symbolising strength and power and is detailed with bell designs; the Neelkantha bird piece that represents a Vijaya Dashami ritual; the Dhunachi piece is detailed with different types of clay and metal bowls used in the dance with burning charcoal and coconut husk during Durga Puja; the Thakur Dalan piece depicts the thakur dalan, a special part of a traditional Bengali house where the Durga Puja usually takes place. The beautiful Jharokha in this piece is a representation of the old Rajbaris of Calcutta that get decked up during Durga Puja.

Children in this frame sport the Mahishasur Mardini statement pieces. It depicts the event of Devi Durga’s defeat of Mahishashura with the buffalo motif above the pendant.

The Chandmala piece features the chandmala, an auspicious element used in puja. In Durga Puja, the chandmala hangs from the deity’s hand and these intricately crafted circular motifs in the piece represent that important element of religious rituals.

The Ashtami Pushpanjali piece depicts the grand auspicious ritual of the third day (Ashtami) of the five days of Durga Puja. Flowers and prayer are offered to Devi Durga while seeking her blessing. The piece represents the ritual with the beautifully and colourfully crafted floral and leaf motifs.

The Shiva piece is crafted with elements like the trident and bells that are associated with the God. 

DESIGNER SPEAK

“This collection seeks to celebrate inclusivity that forms the very essence of Durga Puja. Durga Puja celebrates the young girls or kumaris and they form an integral part of the celebration. So, we thought of doing a shoot with these kumaris wearing Nikiss as together they bring out the essence of the feminine divine. ‘Maya’ is one of the 108 names of Devi Durga and the collection Maya symbolises Devi Durga and her agomon on earth. Maya also means power. My daughter and I have used different elements of this grand festival to make this collection even special. For me, the femininity and divinity of Goddess Durga reflect the power yet the warmth of motherly affection. The children born in the vortex of darkness should equally have the right to be a part of all the good things in this world. With the ushering of the festive season, I wanted to do something for them and hence I curated the shoot with them,” said Niki Sawansukha (right), posing with daughter Anya in the picture.

Models: Ushoshi Sengupta, Avantika Chhetri, Roshni Chhetri, Sudeshna Chalak, Beauty Adhikary

Pictures :Ishaan Singh

Hair and make-up: Mainak Das

Styling: Madhab Sarkar



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