We are off on a break! June 03 2016

We are taking a mid-year break and camping in Yosemite valley this coming week- a trip has has been in planning for past 2 years (we live quite close to Yosemite, actually....we just never got reservations in the campground)!!

A world heritage site and touted to be one of the most awe-inspiring places in North America, we are super excited to be setting off on our Yosemite adventure! Yay!
Mails and queries will be answered to after I return- 13th June.

Join me on instagram (@lai_designs) where I'll be sharing pictures of this adventure! Au revoir! :)

Also posted on our Facebook page on 3rd June, 2016.

Sunday, June 19th is Father's Day....... June 01 2016

.......and we think we have the perfect gift for your dad!

Limited edition (vintage) watch-part cufflinks set in solid sterling silver with a twisted wire outline detail.

I had initially picked up some watch parts from an antiques faire near San Francisco and had carried them with me on my recent trip to India where I got them converted into cufflinks. These were gifted to my husband and dad and seeing how much they loved the cufflinks, I decided to hunt down some more watch-parts and have them converted to cufflinks for the special men in your life too!

We have 5 pairs of these available in India and 3 pairs in the US- ready just in time for Father's Day! :)

Please write to for price and other details.

Also posted on our Facebook page on 1st June, 2016.

Too many beautiful pictures didn't make it to our Bidri X MCM Look Book..... May 26 2016

......we just had a crazy many great shots of the same piece and were forced to pick only 1! Case in point- these 2 pictures. Never shared here or anywhere else before.

Urmila Venkat, you are stunning!! Thank you so much for being a Lai muse! xox


Also posted on our Facebook page on 26th May, 2016.

Lai is in L'official's May'16 issue! May 13 2016

The creative powerhouse and our absolute favorite fashion blogger, Rhea Gupte, looking fierce in our Lapis claw earrings for an amazing editorial for L'Officiel India's May issue!

Big thanks to you, Rhea, for making Lai a part of this stunning feature!

Rhea Gupte in Lapis silver earrings from Lai for L'officiel magazine shootRhea Gupte in Lapis silver earrings from Lai for L'officiel magazine shoot

Also posted on our Facebook page on 13th May, 2016.

Lai's Bidri designs in making! May 11 2016

We know that all of you are impatient to lay your hands on your Bidri pieces and our workshop is furiously at work in an attempt to delivery your jewellery to you as soon as possible.....

.......some pictures of work in progress, in the meantime? :)

AAlso posted on our Facebook page on 11th May, 2016.

An awesome tip to clean your old, oxidized Bidri pieces! May 09 2016

When one of our clients from Canada, Deepu, mentioned that some her old inherited Bidri artifacts had badly tarnished and she wasn't quite sure how to restore them, we suggested she rub their surface with a white pencil eraser.

And voila! Look at the results for yourself in this picture that Deepu sent us! How utterly exquisite is that Bidri box?! You can see on top how blackened it had become!
And since you know this little trick now, go ahead and bring back to life all your old Bidri pieces! Beautiful things are meant to be enjoyed and not kept stored away in drawers! :)

Also posted on our Facebook page on 9th May, 2016.

A big thank you!! May 03 2016

We want to thank all of you for the stupendous response to 'Bidri X MCM'! Due to many requests we are getting, we have extended the bookings till end of this week.
We'll admit, we did have moments of doubt while working on this collection especially when its coming together took so long.

But your fabulous-fabulous response to this collection just stumped us! We are so thrilled that so many of you connected with this collection the way you did!
Our workshop is furiously at work in an attempt to delivery your jewellery to you as soon as possible....

Thank you so much for being a part of our journey.....and for letting us be a part of your world. Much-much gratitude.

Also posted on our Facebook page on 3rd May, 2016.

Our Bidri X MCM is barely out of the oven and it is already in news! April 30 2016

We got some swell love from the wonderful folks at LBB, Delhi!

'The Little Black Book' is our favourite source of all things happening in Delhi (and Bangalore through their Bangalore edition LBB, Bangalore) we are super stocked to find Lai's new collection, Bidri X MCM, make it through their recommendation filter!

Thank you so much Navya and team LBB for this wonderful shout out!


Bidri X MCM: our limited edition collection of silver and Bidri jewellery is now open for bookings! April 22 2016

Calling the individualists, the story collectors, those doing-their-own-thing and the cultural mavens......our new collection of handcrafted silver and Bidri jewellery is now open for bookings!

This limited edition collection comprises of 29 uniquely crafted necklaces, pendants, earrings, cuffs and rings which though contemporary, exudes an agelessness through use of ancient craft of Bidri in Mid Century Modern (MCM) inspired designs.

The striking contrast of colours- the glossy silver inlay being set off dramatically against the matt black- makes for visually stunning pieces. The result? An overall aesthetic that is delicate yet formidable, understated yet opulent.


Launching Lai's new limited edition collection 'Bidri X MCM' on 22nd April! April 20 2016

Each piece in this collection has Bidri components that are handcrafted in Bidar, Karnataka by master craftsmen using time honoured techniques handed down over centuries. These Bidri components are then set in silver jewellery by expert artisans in our Jaipur workshop with extreme attention to detail at every stage.

It is for this reason we cannot make these pieces in large volumes; we start making your piece only once you order it.

This 'made to order collection' has a lead period of 2-3 weeks for the first lot and around 4 weeks for the next lot.

1st Lot: We have already gotten some bidri units made that are ready to be converted into jewellery......these pieces will be finished and ready to ship in about 2 weeks. As soon as we have your order we can block the relevant design for you and courier it to you once it is ready.

Next lot: Once the 1st lot is sold out, the wait time for the jewellery after placing your order will be additional 2 weeks since extra time will be required for the fabrication of the Bidri units also.

Drop us a line at for details or to join our mailing list, if you haven't already!



Also posted on our Facebook page on 20th April, 2016.



Mid Century Modern de-coded! April 18 2016

Ever since my design college days, I've been a huge fan of Bauhaus and what is now referred to as the (American) Mid Century Modern aesthetics.

Reading west-centric (primarily USA based) design and decor blogs and magazines only lead to an ever growing fascination for this period.

'Mid-Century Modern' or MCM is a term often used to describe a design movement, encompassing architecture, furniture, decor, and graphic design in the US, roughly in the mid 20th century, that was essentially an American reflection of the Bauhaus movement in Europe, influenced by the works of designers and architects like Gropius, Florence Knoll, Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Post the 2 major World Wars, in the 1950s much of the world was depleted financially and emotionally. But spirits were high. Good seemed to have triumphed over evil, and the opportunity to pave a new way of life presented itself. Shortage of money, shortage of materials, accelerated rebuilding requirements- the 3 practical reasons that lead to an innovative use of minimal resources and deployment of new materials such as plastic, plywood, metal composites, laminates and fiberglass. The designs that came about were simple and therefore timeless. Many scholars believe that there was an emotional rebellion to the ornamentation that was prevalent at the time.

Shaped by the Bauhaus, MCM style favored concrete, steel and glass, open plans, geometrically precise forms and integrating the outside with the interiors. Clean, sculptural lines exemplified the mid-century modern furniture and quirky geometric and curvilinear shapes were other hallmarks of the decor and prints of this era. Followers believed that technology and mass-production weren’t necessarily at odds with artistry, and championed a utopian vision that everyday urban life could be elevated through design.

More than half a century after its origin, Mid century modern (MCM), suddenly feels very relevant again. Its minimalist sensibility, a preference for the clean lines and pared down designs seem to be exactly what we need as we look to simplify our fast paced, multitasking, over informed, frantic, internet fueled lives.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the time spent researching this design period for our new collection 'Bidri X MCM'.....sharing a few pages from our inspiration board!

[Text compiled with inputs from Wiki and articles on MCM on the internet]

Also posted on our Facebook page on 18th April, 2016.

Making of a Bidri piece...... April 14 2016

The exquisiteness and the clean lines of Bidri belie the complicated and time consuming steps that go into its creation.

Crafting of a Bidri article (inlaying silver wire/sheet onto an oxidized zinc and copper alloy base) involves four main steps: (1) mould making, (2) melting the alloy and casting the article, (3) engraving and inlaying the design and finally (4) oxidizing.

We've prepared a photo documentation to explain these steps to the curious! :)

Mould making: A mix of soil, castor oil and resin is used to prepare a mould.

Melting the alloy and casting the article: In this mould, molten metal alloy of zinc and copper (in the ratio of 16:1) is poured.

Depending on the product design, different metal casted pieces may need to be welded together to form one single product.

The rough surface of a freshly cast piece is smoothened by filing with files, scrapers and sand papers. Then a superficial layer of black is applied on the surface of the article by rubbing it with a solution of copper sulphate. This makes it easier for the artist to draw the design on it, which is easily visible on the black surface.

Engraving the design: The engraving tool, a kalam or metal chisel of various shapes and points, is used to engrave the designs which are drawn free hand. Traditionally, various Mughal inspired motifs such as flowers (known as Asharfi-ki-booti), leaves (vine creepers), geometric designs, etc. were commonly done on the items.

Inlaying the design: Inlaying work is done by silver sheet or wire which are deftly and skillfully placed in the engraved groves. The inlaid design is then buffed to smooth the surface.

Oxidizing: After final filing and/or buffing, the bidriware is now ready for the final blackening process. A special variety of soil which is available only in the unlit portions of the Bidar fort is used (it is said that this soil is very special. While no definite reason can be attributed to this- some artisans feel that the soil is away from the sunlight and rain for years and therefore it has great oxidizing properties). The soil is mixed with ammonium chloride and water to produce a paste which is then rubbed onto a heated bidri surface. The paste selectively darkens the body while it has no effect on the silver inlay.

The final piece is rubbed with coconut oil to brighten the black surface.


Also posted on our Facebook page on 14th April, 2016.

Bidri- a craft like no other! April 13 2016

Bidri is indeed a craft like no other. One of the main reason for its visual appeal is the striking contrast of colours- the glossy silver inlay being set off dramatically against the matt black.

Besides being visually stunning, Bidri work is also a very enduring- it does not rust and can last and look the same for of the many reasons we love it so!

Here are some museum-quality pieces to feast your eyes on!

Also posted on our Facebook page on 13th April, 2016.

Travel with us to Bidar! April 12 2016

Many hundreds of years ago, the fine art of inlaying silver/gold wire on other metal surface made its way from Iran all the way to Ajmer, Rajasthan and from there to Bijapur- flourishing during the reign of the Deccan Sultanate.

It is said that in the 14th century, Alauddin Bahamani II invited Moguls from Bijapur to set up a metalworking center in Bidar. It is here that this craft evolved and matured, over the next 400 years, into the fine craft of Bidri which involves multiple time consuming steps to inlay silver wire and sheet on an oxidized zinc and copper alloy.

Bidar, a quaint hill-top city situated in the deccan plateau, in the north-eastern part of Karnataka state of India, may be well known for its many places of architectural, historical and religious importance but for us it is home to our new collection- 'Bidri X MCM'.

Before we talk more about this beautiful craft, how about a few snapshots of this quaint city?


Bidar Fort


Madarsa of Mahmud Khawja Gawan                  Bidar  


Bareedi tombs                                                     Details inside the Bidar Fort

Also posted on our Facebook page on 12th April, 2016.

First Look! April 11 2016

I couldn't be happier than to finally be able to talk about our new collection- launching very soon!

Like many of our previous collections, this is a very personal one- born out of my current influences and preferences. However, this is one collection that has taken the longest time in other collection has demanded such a long gestation time, so much co-ordination and such a lot of patience!

I fell in love with the craft of Bidri (a fine art of inlaying silver wire and sheet on an oxidized zinc and copper alloy) as a design student and have always wanted to work with it. When I moved to Bangalore from Delhi, I thought the time had come. I travelled to Bidar, a small town in north Karnataka, where this craft is practiced but the unit I was referred to didn't seem like the place that could or would do justice to our designs. So after some failed attempts, I put the Bidri project on a back burner.
When I moved to the US, I found myself drawn more and more to 'Mid Century Modern' (MCM) aesthetics that are so quintessentially Californian; and somehow Bidri and MCM just seemed such a natural fit together for our new collection! (More on Mid Century Modern in a subsequent post.)

So I started looking again for the right collaborator and finally my search ended with a master craftsman (and a National Awardee for Bidri craft) who had worked on many prestigious projects before. When I held the first few samples in my hands, I knew I had found the level of craftsmanship I had been looking for.

And after 8 months of work - designing, prototyping, numerous telephone calls, couriers and travels including a 3 month travel and stay in India - to get things just right, we feel so proud to be able to present our new work to you- real soon.....

Also posted on our Facebook page on 11th April, 2016.

In which our ring becomes the muse! February 01 2016

It fills our heart with joy and pride to see some of our jewellery pieces resonating so deeply with so many of you- like our coin ring!

Writer, Namrata of LIFE- As I see it, casting her Lai coin ring in the role of a muse, penned this beautiful- beautiful poem. "This year for me is going to the year of big leap and somehow the more I see this ring the more I feel it is going to be the harbinger of the change I am so looking forward to" she said while ordering the ring. If you have a moment, I would urge you to read these lines as a reminder that happiness really begins with self love and that it is never to late to act on it!

Note to self:
A lot of love with a lot of promises in the form of a ring for this finger; none could bind my dreams or hold my heart.
All they had was a fake odor of something called desire, hidden deep beneath the labyrinth of love!
But today I gift you this promise of love – a predicament of eternity and an oath of a lifetime ~
I promise to love you before anyone else.
I promise to love you forever.
I promise to look after you.
I promise to never let you get hurt.
I promise to hold you, cherish you and be there for you, always.
To be there when you need me, and when you don’t,
I promise.
- Namrata M

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 1st February, 2015.

In Jaipur visiting our workshop! January 29 2016

We are doing some really exciting developments and I can't wait to share them with all of you- have to keep it hush-hush for now, hence this picture of our signature coin studs that were also being finished in one corner of the workshop!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 29th January, 2015.

We are off and shutting shop for our year end break! December 18 2015

2015 has been a great year for Lai- we came out with 4 very distinct collections: Kinner Kailash (Himachali), Nilaj(a) [Lapis], Ras Rasika (nose pins and hair ornaments) and Alhambra (chandelier earrings). Thank you not just for buying our jewelry and helping us continue to do what we most certainly love but more importantly for giving us room to experiment and for embracing all our collections with such enthusiasm. From colour saturated Kinner Kailash to the modernist Nilaj(a) to the opulent Alhambra- we couldn't have come up with such diverse stories if we didn't have an experimental, intelligent and open minded audience like you. So thank you again for helping us not get stuck in a rut or a certain style- variety is the spice of life we say and I'm sure you'll all agree! :)

We have great plans for the next year- so much we'd like to try! If you have any suggestions for the kind of work you'd like to see from us, please do let us know. Your comments will go a long way in helping us fine tune our projects for 2016!

Hope you all have the most wonderful end to 2015.....see you all next year! :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 18th December, 2015.

Some stunning Indian jewellery boxes! December 17 2015

Found this old folder in my laptop with images of some amazing jewellery boxes- quite liking the idea of building my own collection of such boxes.

Any leads?!



Originally posted on our Facebook page on 17th December, 2015.

An old picture of a jeweler's workshop circa mid 19th century. December 11 2015

Its amazing how familiar most of this set up is even in today's jewellery workshops that work with handcrafted techniques.

We have an unbroken jewellery tradition, in India, that spans almost 5000 years. And we are its modern day custodians and patrons. Something to feel proud of when you take out your handcrafted jewellery to wear today! :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 11th December, 2015.

Are you following us on Instagram yet?! December 07 2015

As officially the slowest person to join, I am absolutely loving it. Our feed is a combination on what we share here here on Facebook plus tons of snippets from life in California and India- like this mural painted by the fabulous Bangalore based artist Shilo Shiv Suleman that I spotted in Mission District in San Francisco! Talk about small world! :)

Our handle is Lai_designs. Hope to see you there!

A fantastic first for Lai! December 02 2015

One of our designs (the small Coin collection earrings) captured, for posterity, in an oil painting!! So honored, so grateful and super thrilled! :)

This stunning 'Trompe L'oeil' painting (a French term literally meaning "trick the eye." Sometimes called illusionism, it's a style of painting which gives the appearance of three-dimensional, or photographic realism) is the art work of the fabulously gifted, Mridula Priyadarshini. In Mridula's words:
"My first oil painting. :)
Joined an art class during my vacation last year in the US (my first trip there). Our instructor had asked us to get things we would like to put together for a Trompe L'oeil painting and while everyone else had pictures and postcards I ended up with the leaf and jewellery.
Lot of firsts in this painting- first oil painting, during first visit to the US, the first time I experienced fall colours in person and that Lai in there was among the first I picked from you as a gift for my sis... :)"

I keep looking at the painting- its so hard to believe that its a painting and not a photograph! Are you all as blown away as we are?!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 2nd December, 2015.

A story we love! November 16 2015

Occasionally we'll get a mail that tugs all kind of strings in our heart! Truly! This beautiful mail and image were sent by Megha from Paris (plus more that she did not want to publicly share). This is what she had to say:

"I wore the beautiful coin ring for my wedding and I thought you'd like to see how nice it looked since everyone seemed to love it. I only wore 4 pieces of jewllery- My great grandmothers gold and pearl brooch, my grandmother's string of pearls, my mothers gold and pearl earrings and the ring which was was my addition to the set put together over generations.
So thanks for creating something I love so much!"

We barely have words to express our happiness and gratitude when something that came out of our work shop becomes that one piece of jewellery that you chose to add to the mix that has a piece each from previous 3 generations.....such an immense honour!
In this picture Megha is making the 'varmalas' by tying together gajras someone found in a Tamil shop in Paris and brought to the little French village she got married in. How utterly beautiful and romantic....won't you say?!

I wish we could have shared more full length pictures because Megha made such a refreshingly beautiful bride- elegant, simple and soooo beautiful! Truly a bride after our own heart! For those of you who are curious here is some more trivia that I culled out from Megha in our mail exchange: The sari is from an old sari shop in CP where her mother's and her mother's sisters wedding sari were bought and the coat from a workshop her mother used to work with. In Megha's words, "Chiffon is originally a French material so a chiffon sari brings together Indians and French sartorial history (my husband is French). We got married in the mountains where ferns grow everywhere and ferns are also the oldest and some of the most resilient plants so the embroidered ferns were also a nice symbol."

So symbolic and beautiful.......her pictures and mails made me want to get married again! (To the same person!!) :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 16th November, 2015.

Our hair ornaments are in press again! November 08 2015

Lai's hair ornaments from Ras Rasika spotted in Sunday (1st November'15) edition of Times of India (NCR)!

Thanks for this wonderful surprise, Priyanka!

Look what we discovered! November 05 2015

Our dear client, Matouleibi, shared this beautiful fact with us:

"'Lai' means God in my mother tongue 'Meiteilon' (also know as Manipuri) the language spoken in Manipur, the Northeastern state of India."

How wonderful is that?! So we now know 'Lai' to mean 3 beautiful things in 3 different languages! For the uninitiated here are the other 2:

(1) the beloved one (Sanskrit)
(2) a lyrical, narrative poem written in octosyllabic couplets that often deals with tales of adventure and romance. (old French)

The picture below is one that I took on a trip to Manipur many-many moons ago!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 5th November, 2015.

Its raining press for Lai and we are loving every bit of it! :) October 24 2015

The awesome team at The Daily Pao picked not 1 but 2 of our chandelier earrings from the new Alhambra collection as "Ten covetable pieces of contemporary jewellery that "would make great additions to your jewellery box or Diwali gifts."

Click here view their entire selection. For those in Mumbai, is a daily must read for all that is noteworthy and happening in your city!

Some more press for Lai and Happy Dussehra! October 22 2015

Lai's hair clip and nose pin from our Ras Raika collection were featured in the 20th October (Tuesday) issue of The Times of India in an article on silver jewellery for this festive season.

We don't subscribe to trends but if they think we have our pulse on them then we'd gladly take that as a compliment!

Happy Dussehra and Durga Puja, everyone!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 22nd October, 2015.

Lai in Conde' Nast Traveller India's 5th Anniversary issue! October 21 2015

We are super thrilled to be handpicked by one of our favorite magazines, Condé Nast Traveller India, as one of the 50 brands that "use traditional techniques and materials to create cool, contemporary fashion"!

Loved what the writer and curator Jasreen Mayal Khanna had to say in the opening of this article- Made in India- "In the '80s and early '90s trips abroad always ended with suitcases bursting with foreign treasures. Wearing Marks and Spencers lingerie and Hush Puppies loafers signified your access to those far away lands and their coveted creations. But today as more and more global brands find their way to our shores, a contrary movement has begun. From Kolkata to Kutch, young Indian designers are going back to their roots. They are reshaping indian cool by using techniques like Ikat dyeing, zardozi embroidery, bird metal work and more to create modern clothes and accessories. Consumers, too, are appreciating this old meets new package. For our 5th anniversary issue, we picked 50 of our favorite such brands. Get your credit cards ready!"

Yay! Isn't this awesome?! :)


Originally posted on our Facebook page on 21st October, 2015.

Some more press for Lai's festive collection 'Ras Rasika'! October 19 2015

"Trust Lai to get some stunning designs with every collection", the good folks at Democratic World say.....and yippee say we!! :)

Thanks a ton Aarti, for this lovely feature!

Featured in Little Black Book, Bangalore! October 17 2015

Some spotlight coming our way today!

The wonderful folks at LBB, Bangalore have voted Lai as one of the "New age jewellery labels we love". We are flattered and thrilled, to say the least! :)

Click here to read!

Launching our new collection, Alhambra! October 16 2015

We have sent out the mails! Did you get yours?! (Do check your spam/junk folder and the 'promotions' tab in gmail. If you do find our mail in the junk folder then please select it and click on "Not spam". You can also add us to your address book so that next time a mail from us lands no where but in your inbox!)

And with this we officially launch our new festive collection- 'Alhambra'! You can view the highlights from this collection on our website here.

Look forward to your feedback and reaction to our new work!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 16th October, 2015.

Hear! Hear! October 15 2015

The preview e-invites have gone out and here are some of the wonderful things those who have seen it are saying:

So excited to have received your email this morning.
I stared more at each piece, it took me a few hours to finally pick up the piece I thought I will cherish having in my collection.
I love the intricate work craftsmanship in each piece. All of them are so elegant and delightful. Also, I also love how you have brought out the harmonized version of architecture and emotion into these explosive designs, just time in for Diwali! :) As you rightly said, these are to be passed on from one generation to the next.
-Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan

Awesome Collection. They look so royal and grand, just as chandeliers are.
A festive collection, indeed! :)
-Akanksha Dutta

Congratulations once again for Brilliant Alhambra.Designs speaks bound of creative brain and hard work. Every piece is different and stunning.
-Naaz Patel

Breathtaking, Puja. You have smashed it these are such such gorgeous pieces i tell you.. truly festive.. revisited the album around million times i just cannot do justice in choosing a few from these they are all sooooo beautiful !!! well done i say !!! :) :) i love those fine details that are all your trademark styles in these those turqoise earrings for example.. and you just look stunning in your sarees !!!!! full on whistles all the way from london to you !!!
-Priya Durairajan

Nice work as always, and I think this time you have probably tried to move out of your comfort zone by doing something more edgy and flamboyant {I somehow don't relate these words to Lai usually :)} What I like most is despite the edginess, they are neither ostentatious nor over the top.
-Anubhuti Krishna

Boy, was it tough settling on one!!!!!!!! realllly pretty collection yet again! :) I am bored of giving compliments now!
-Shilpa swamy

Wow Puja, what an absolutely stunning collection!
-Ritu Lahiri

Thank you everyone who has taken out time to write in. Launching tomorrow! Our 3rd installment for this festive season and our last collection for this year!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 15th October, 2015.

Mark this date on your calendar! 16th October'15 October 13 2015

Launching Lai's new limited edition collection of chandelier earrings on 16th October (Friday)! Yay!

The previews to Lai loyalists will be mailed a day earlier on 15th October (Thursday). This special and super supportive bunch absolutely deserves this little treat! :)

Inspired by the old world charm evoked by the Alhambra but with a new, contemporary spin, these stunning, attend grabbing earrings are a must in your festive wardrobe! (Oh'll agree when you see the designs, we promise you that!)

This is a 'ready to ship' collection- made in very limited quantity. So please be quick with your selection and payment to avoid any disappointment!

Drop us a line at to join our mailing list, if you haven't already!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 13th October, 2015.

What exactly are Chandelier earrings? October 10 2015

Someone wrote in to ask what did we mean by 'chandelier' earrings- so we decided to share our answer with every one in case there were others wondering the same!

Chandelier earrings are named such because of their resemblance to mini-chandeliers with a series of embellishments that drop down, sometimes cascading to different lengths, creating tiers. These tiers create movement and in many cases, create additional sparkle and shine.

Perfect for when you want to turn heads, don't you think?!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 10th October, 2015.

Launching soon..... October 08 2015

.....Lai's exclusive and limited edition chandelier earrings for this festive season!

Come, fall in love with the joys of leisurely dressing and fussing over yourselves again.....

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 8th October, 2015.

Our head is filled with all things Alhambra! October 07 2015

A bit of history for you history buffs here?

"The name of the Alhambra comes from the Arabic word 'al-hamra', which means 'the red one', alluding to the reddish pink color of the clay coating the walls and towers, although they were at one time white washed. Being surrounded by forested green slopes in that state, it was once referred to by poets as 'A pearl among emeralds'.

There are 13 towers surrounding the citadel, all of which were built to defend it, and some that were remodeled into palaces to capitalize on the resplendent views they provide. The famed Nasrid Dynasty palaces were built during the 13th and 14th Centuries by a succession of Emir Sultans incorporating the knowledge of the 8 centuries their predecessors assimilated.

Being isolated from the eastern Islamic realm allowed for new directions in art and culture to develop, closely linked to that of Morocco. As the Moorish kingdoms of Cordoba and Sevilla fell, Granada received an influx of talent and brilliance from those regions, and maintained independent autonomy as the last remnant of Al-Andalus for 250 years until the Emir Baobdil handed over the keys to the conquering Catholic monarchs in 1491."
- From

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 7th October, 2015.

The inspiration behind our upcoming collection, Alhambra October 05 2015

Our new collection, 'Alhambra', has been inspired by the richly decorated carvings of the Alhambra Palace- the repeated motifs of interlaced arabesques, in particular.
Arabesque is the English term to describe an ornamental style of decoration long associated with Arab culture. Arabesque is basically an art of intricate, repetitive, and symmetrical patterns of intertwined lines.

The answer to why this form of decoration was favored and perfected by muslim artists lies in Islam’s general rejection of reproducing anything realistically. To reproduce human figures ran the risk of idolatry; to attempt to recreate the natural world was to compete with Allah, the one and only creator.

P.S: our research tells us, while arabesque is a recognised characteristic of Islamic art, Muslim artists may have been inspired initially by earlier Greek, Roman and Byzantine fondness for scrolling stylised plant or vegetal motifs such as vine tendrils, grapes, acanthus on, for example, the capitals atop of columns.



Originally posted on our Facebook page on 5th October, 2015.

Sneak Peek! October 02 2015

Sneak peek from our soon to be launched collection 'Alhambra'- Lai's exclusive and limited edition chandelier earrings!

At Lai we love earrings- that one piece of adornment that has the power to light up both the face as well as the outfit. If you know our work, then you know we don't believe in making jewellery that competes with the person wearing it. While these chandelier earrings may be big and dramatic, true to our style, they are delicate yet eye-catching.

Are you as excited about our new collection as we are?! :)


Originally posted on our Facebook page on 2ed October, 2015.

We are working on something new! September 30 2015

We promised to make this an indulgent, lush festive season and that is just what we are going to do with the third and final installment of our festive offerings- an exclusive line of stunning and dramatic earrings! (If you have been following our work, then you surely know how seriously we take our ear ornaments!)

While our work shop is working over time to deliver the nose pins and hair ornaments in time- we, at the studio, have been busy giving finishing touch to the new launch, which will also be our final offering for this year.

We started this year in the lap of Himalayas with our Kinner Kailash collection, traveled westwards to Afghanistan for Nilaj(a) and continuing westwards have reached mainland Europe for our next inspiration! Any clue as to where we are pitching our tent next?! The picture below should help!

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 30th September, 2015.

Lai at 'The Amethyst Room', Chennai September 28 2015

Love what some of your are willing to do for us- turning into a 'mystery shopper' in this case!

Anubhuti happened to be in Chennai when we announced 'The Amethyst Room' at Chamiers as being a newly appointed stockist for Lai.....and guess what she did? She took out an evening to look for and visit Chamiers, chatted with the sales associates there about Lai and came back with these pictures, of Lai pieces and the store, taken from her phone!

Isn't that awfully sweet of her?! Thanks a ton, rock! :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 28th September, 2015.

For all those who bought into our vision of hair ornaments..... September 24 2015

........thank you for taking these first steps with us.

We all should aim to go big and bold next season like in these stunning vintage pictures.....don't you think?! :)


Originally posted on our Facebook page on 24th September, 2015.

Did you know that having a nose piercing and wearing nose pin can help control emotions, strengthen ovary and relieve heat?! We kid you not! September 23 2015

Scientific reasons for wearing Nose Pins- read on to find out what we learnt about these miniature benefactors! :)

"It is a common belief that nose pins are worn for beauty, well it is not so, there are a number of health benefits that acts both on your body and mind when you wear a nose pin" says Menaka Bharathi in her article "Nose Pins – A Tradition that Enhances the Beauty of Indian Women" on the, and this is what she goes on to say:

"Control on Emotions:
Studies have revealed that nose, one of the six sense organs is not only a sense organ helping you in breathing and smelling different odours, it is also an organ that controls various emotions and feelings such as passion, romance and sexual feelings. Woman with nose pins are emotionally strong. It has been proven that women with nose pins are hard to hypnotize or mesmerize.

Strengthens Ovary:
The point of piercing in the nostril strengthens ovaries thereby bringing about positive changes in the sexuality of a woman and favorable conditions for child birth in her body. This is the reason why most customs insist on piercing nostrils and wearing nose pins when a girl is ready for marriage.
The point where the nose is pierced is the acupressure point which is related to the delivery, and when nose is pierced at this point women would feel less pain during delivery with fewer complications.

Relieves Heat:
In rural India one would not miss women transplanting rice seedlings in the fields, although it was long considered that such jobs being easier and not needing much manpower were given to the women, recent researches prove something far from it.
The Vegas nerve, one of the 12 cranial nerves, that extends from the brain stem to the abdomen passes through many organs including heart, esophagus, and lungs principally functions as an exporter (expeller) of carbon di oxide and other unwanted gases from the body. This carbon-di-oxide has a temperature higher than that of the atmosphere outside. This process of expelling CO2 is very important to maintain the body temperature.
When women wear a nose ring the process of expelling these unwanted gases is faster and the body is cooled sooner. Thus nose pins, the pierced nostril is very important for a woman to keep them cool, this coolness is what makes them the first choice for transplanting seedlings, because warm hands would cause damage to the young seedlings.

Heat regulation in the body is directly related to blood pressure and emotional strength, a hot body gets angry faster than a cooler one. Thus to maintain peace and tranquility in a home, women were asked to wear these nose pins, mostly on both nostrils."

Fascinating, isn't it?! :)

Click here to shop our Nose Pin collection.


Originally posted on our Facebook page on 23rd September, 2015.

Ras Rasika: Nose pins September 20 2015

If you have been around long enough, you'd know how much we love research and delving into history.

The nose pin project was no different and it threw up some really interesting trivia about this small but super punchy piece of adornment! To know what we found out, read on....
While to most a nose ring may seems like a fashion statement, in India, it’s an age old tradition that’s heads back centuries and has significance even today.

Though rarely finding mention in the ancient Hindu texts, it appears that nose piercing could have been brought into the country by Muslims in the 9th or 10th century A.D.
Ranging from the single stone ('Laung') worn on one side of the nose/which rests beautifully on the curve of the nostril, the ornament worn through the cartilage inthe centre of the nose ('Bulak') to nose rings of various dimensions and designs ('Naths'), the nose ornaments through time have come to be associated with different castes, social status and even marital status in various parts of the country.

One of the more sensual and feminine ornaments (think large hoops that encircle the cheek with graceful pendant pearls which dangle provocatively just above the upper lip), 'Nath' is said to symobolize the bride’s virginity. In ayurveda, a piercing on the left side of the nose is said to relieve pains related to menstruation and child birth.
In South Indian jewellery, the “mookuthi” is also said to have healing powers as it regulates the breath and eliminate toxins while breathing in. This stud, usually ornate and worn on the right nostril, is also representative of sexuality and romance in a woman’s marriage.

Nose piercings were also regarded as a Hindu's honor to Parvati, the goddess of marriage and remain an integral part of Indian wedding jewelry. Tradition also embraces the idea that the woman has her nose rings to pay for her funeral if she has all the gold taken from her. Nose rings or gold studs cannot be easily removed from the woman. Many women from the Asian subcontinent are cremated with just their nose studs as jewelry is removed before the funeral. Indian widows usually remove their nose studs as a sign of respect.

Interesting, wouldn't you say?!


Originally posted on our Facebook page on 20th September, 2015.

Ras Rasika: Hair Ornaments! September 19 2015

"Indian hair ornaments were as simple as an unadorned cord or as elaborate as an expertly crafted golden crown. Ribbons and strings of pearls, golden hairpins, forehead ornaments, nets, jeweled medallions, and clips are a few of the decorative accessories Indians added to their hair. Typically Indians wore several types of ornaments together. Tied with a cord on top of the head, hair could be styled with a series of pearl strings or ribbons and secured with a medallion. Then a forehead ornament could be attached" says Mr.R.P. Mohapatra in his book "Styles of Ancient India: A Study of Kalinga from Earliest Times to Sixteenth Century A.D."

"Head ornaments are a category of Indian jewels that are fast vanishing. The first to fall prey to the goldsmith's melting crucible, they are now popular largely as part of bridal attire and the traditional ornamentation of classical dancers"- notes another writer.
Isn't it time we changed that?! Reclaim hair accessories as a fun, whimsical yet classy piece of jewellery that they were always meant to be?

Launching Lai's exclusive and limited edition Hair accessories for this festive season. Come fall in love with the joys of getting dressed up again.....


Originally posted on our Facebook page on 19th September, 2015.

Ras Rasika preview feedbacks! September 16 2015

The nicest part of launching a new collection has to be the feedback that pours in! Here are some of the wonderful things our loving patrons had to say:

"You are truly talented! I am awestruck, just kept going through the album over and over! Took me some time to finalize these and I am not even someone who has my nose pierced or uses nose-pins and yet I want all of these! :)

I am so thankful to the internet for connecting me to you! I cherish ALL my Lai pieces and take care of them as if they were heirloom accessories! :)"
-Shilpa Swamy

"You have put together an awesome collection yet again. Had been thinking of trying on one for a long time, but this piece actually made me want to buy a nose-pin and give it a shot. :)"
-Swathi Ram

"This is so so so beautiful. I say this almost every time but you really outdo yourself. Just when I think this is it, it cannot get any better I see another brilliant collection. And that is the mark of a real craftsperson."
-Anubhuti Krishna

"I want to buy almost the entire collection but I will stick to just 4!"
-Yashodhara Datar

"Sitting in Florence on our wedding anniversary, I was wondering how else our day could be any more beautiful but no Ras Rasika chose to arrive and whoa the jewelry is like a poetry!
Even before I opened the mail I was sure I was going to buy whatever I could !!! But your choice of doing hair ornaments is commendable- totally unexplored area of jewelry but your stuff does complete justice to bring back the charm of vintageness to it. What can I say, Puja, you have just proven again on this stunning collection! Love every piece of the nose ring in particular love the choice of normal and occasion wear ones and yes you have convinced me easily to get as many nose pins and hair ornaments!"
-Priya Durairajan

Thank you every one who has written in! Thank you for all your support, love and engagement with our work. To say that we are thrilled at the reception of our new work, would be a huge understatement! Thank you again! :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 16th September, 2015.

Launching Ras Rasika! September 15 2015

We have sent out the mails! Did you get yours?! (Do check your spam/junk folder and the 'promotions' tab in gmail.....and do add us to your address book so that next time a mail from us lands no where but in your inbox!)

And with this we officially launch our new twin collections- 'Ras Rsika'! You can view the highlights from this collection on our website here and here.

Look forward to your thoughts, comments and your selection! :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 15th September, 2015.

Make sure you are on our mailing list! September 11 2015

We are kick starting the festive season with not 1 but 2 collections that will be launched simultaneously. 'Ras Rasika' is our twin offering of a nose pin and a hair ornaments collections and both these collections will be launched simultaneously.

Handcrafted with care and imbued with the lost magic and art of 'shingar'- 'Ras Rasika' is almost ready for launch!

If our sneak peeks and images from the shoot have caught your attention, we highly recommend you join our mailing list so that the invite is in your inbox as soon as we launch! You can do so by:

(1) using the 'Join our mailing list' tab at the bottom of our home page
(2) drop us a mail at with 'mailing list' in the subject line

One person, 2 looks: festive and everyday! September 09 2015

We are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we can convert all of you non-nose pin wearers into those who can't get enough of them! Festive wear or everyday wear- whatever your inclination- we've got you covered with our up-coming collection- Ras Rasika!

We do love a good challenge! :)

Originally posted on our Facebook page on 9th September, 2015.

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