My visit to the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi in February 2011 coincided with a high and fine jewelry exhibition taking place, as part of the ‘Signature’ exclusive event. For the first time, I came across such spectacular examples of creativity woven into high jewelry designs. Given my love for colours and jewelry making, I decided to write about a few of the jewelry designers.

First in this series of articles is Garaude Paris.

Francois Garaude with daughter Jeanne. Photo © Garaude Paris

Garaude Paris definitely kept me spellbound with precious stones rampant with gorgeous colours and techniques.  Gleaning inspiration from this travels, founder Francois Garaude, along with daughter Jeanne, has definitely worked the artistic muscle to create alluring collections featuring aspects of India as well as Japan.

I was particularly drawn to the Hokusai collection made of brooches and earrings in coloured titanium. Garaude shared with me that the collection was conceived in homage to the Great Wave off Kanawaga. The more I gazed at the earrings, the more I felt I was riding the diamond studded waves of life’s journey. In light of the recent tragic events in Japan, Garaude has decided to donate profits from the Hokusai collection to the victims of tsunami.

From the Hokusai collection. Photos © Garaude Paris


Garuade shared with me electroplating techniques that give rise to the colours of the earrings. In simple terms, electroplating is a laboratory based technique where a metal is finely plated with another metal by using an electric current. The base metal is now coated with the metal evenly and smoothly.

The collection India is another stone-studded collection that reminds me of my own rich Indian roots and heritage. The vibrant red, pink and purple colours is all imaginable hues (burgundy, fuchsia, lavender and more) are reminiscent of  Jaipur and Agra.  For a bit of history, Jaipur is called the pink city as many of its avenues are painted pink by an emperor in historic times. When I think of Agra, I think of the colour red, because the Red Fort in Agra is made of red sandstone that is easily available there.

From the Collection India. Photos © Garaude Paris


Garaude’s  journey into jewelry design is fascinating to someone who love design and travel. In 1980, after six years of studying architecture, Garaude became interested in rough emeralds and learnt to cut stones and became trading in stones as he travelled. He was known to travel across South America, Asia and Africa for natural stones. He studied jewellery manufacture and became interested in titanium for new design perspectives.

From the Lotus Bleu collection. Photos © Garaude Paris


Garaude launched his Paris jewellery brand with his daughter Jeanne in 2010. Their collections Renaissance (which reinterprets the shapes and combinations of materials found in ancient jewellery) and Hokusai (inspired by the Japanese print master as mentioned earlier) were exhibited in Baselworld, Couture Las Vegas and Hong Kong, then Paris.

Visit Garaude Paris here.

Next week, we take a look at Aaron Basha’s charmed collection. Stay tuned!

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