Designer Olivia Dar is a Parisian expatriate who calls India her new home. Her love affair with India began on a vacation during which she became so enamoured with the country that she refused to leave. Instead, she stayed to explore India's rich lanscape, even studying gemology in Jaipur. Dar's design experience includes making accessories for iconic houses such as Christian Lacroix, so it was a natural progression for her to create her own namesake label, launched in 2011, inspired by Indian culture. Today, Olivia Dar's coveted jewelry collections are vibrant reflections of the traditions and customs of her beloved India.
1. You are from Paris, and moved to India almost a decade ago. What sparked that move?
I came to India on a backpacking trip and fell instantly in love with the country. The people, the culture, the colours, all the crafts that you see in the local markets were totally overwhelming! I decided to settle in Dharamshala where the Tibetan culture is very present, then moved to Jaipur to study gemmology and finally settled in Delhi.
2. How does your design process work?
My inspiration comes from my sense of adventure, my spirituality, my quirky sense of humour and my constantly roving eyes. I move around the country a lot and take in local flavours - from the colours around me, the smells, the way people interact with objects and how individuals and communities interpret design. I take local ideas and work to blend them into universal forms.
3. What is on the Olivia Dar mood board?
Acid colours, chains and rope, plastic hearts, 19th century French lace, tribal beads and a picture of my grandmother taken the day of her wedding in the 1920.
4. Which is your favourite Olivia Dar piece?
I love the skull bracelets, I wear a lot of them together and mix colours and sizes - it adds a touch of edginess to my outfits.
5. What is next for the Olivia Dar collection?
More travel, bright acid colours, an extra India twist and Japanese Shibori tie dye.
6. Why did you choose skulls as central motif for your designs?
The skull is a strong symbol both in western and eastern culture. In the Tibetan culture it symbolises the impermanence of life, our existence being a constant state of flux within the cycle of birth and rebirth. It is also fun to wear.
Shop Olivia Dar's bracelets on L-atitude here!