What are the key things to look for when buying jewellery?
It depends … if you are investing loads of money, make sure the materials used are of high-quality. Do your research. Use Google and know what you are buying. As far as I am concerned, I buy jewellery all the time and the key things I look for are completely opposite to what I am suggesting. For me, it’s more to do with how I can mix the newly bought pieces with my existing ones. I love mixing materials and metals. I love mixing yellow gold with wood, I love pearls with gold coins, silver with enamel embossing and so on. I also look for chunkiness, my jewels have to be chunky and character based. I can’t do sweet little cute jewellery.
The new trend of wearing floor-length necklaces: buy or bye bye?
I can’t stop buying those, I love them! My favourite ones are by Sadaf Malaterre, she is doing printed fabric balls in long, long necklaces. They go with everything!
The worst fashion mistake people make when accessorising outfits with jewels?
My personal pet peeve is how people wear wedding jewellery in Pakistan. They match the stones with the outfit’s fabric colour! And on top of that, they match their shoes, bags, nail polish and lipstick in the same shade too! Jewellery is most fun when you mix and match. With a ruby red outfit, I would rather wear turquoise stones set in gold jewellery for it to stand out. Also, I think people wear jewellery in the most predictable way. Red long nails with diamond rings are so passe. Make it more edgy by wearing diamonds with short black nails!
How many colours should one own necklaces in?
Every colour and every material possible! But if I have to, have to and have to talk about basic colours … I would say everyone should own a string of pearls (spend some money when buying pearls-cheap pearls are just that, cheap!) and a string of turquoise stones. They are the most easily mixable pieces for layering.
What are the best places to look for jewellery from?
I buy a lot of my stuff from every country I travel to. I love local ethnic stuff from different countries. Masai bead bangles worn with Turkish evil eye bracelets looks so good! Similarly Taweez pendants worn with big gold hoops just add so much more character.
In Pakistan I could find a lot of traditional vintage stuff at one point but now, it is crazy, you travel to Nathiagali and they are selling cheap Thai and Made in China stuff… gone are the exotic Afghan pieces from there. I like exploring Sarafa bazaar and Bohri bazaar in Karachi for vintage chaand balis and jhumkas and chaand-tara tikas. They are still my favourite pieces of jewellery and I can never have enough of those!
How many ear piercings are appropriate in Pakistan?
I love going to my village and seeing all those old women with a million ear piercings wearing tiny gold hoops. I think it really is a personal choice. Some people can carry it off very well, whereas some look plain silly.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 31st, 2010.
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