Jeweller Mayuri Vara inspired by Hong Kong
Luxury jewellery brand Vara of London is much like a sparkling biography of its founder Mayuri Vara.
The collection is inspired by Vara's own travels and her time living in Britain and Hong Kong, as well as her Indian heritage.
"There's a lot of me in the collections," she says. "The pieces reflect my passions - both people and places."
The Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, for example, inspired the Bamboo collection, comprising cuffs and rings set with diamonds.
"[Man Mo Temple] is such a tranquil place. It has such exquisitely crafted detailing on the gates and the walls are magnificently ornate, with green bamboo detailing," she says.
The heavily ornate Fleur de Chine collection was inspired by Vara's love of the lotus, a flower rooted in Chinese culture as a symbol of purity.
And the simple but elegant Noor collection was inspired by the Nur-ul-Ain diamond, one of the largest pink diamonds in the world, and the centre piece of the tiara of the same name.
"The diamond made its way from Mogul India to the Persian crown jewels," Vara says.
There are also touches of cinematic glamour, including the Serpentine collection inspired by Anna May Wong, Hollywood's first Chinese-American movie star. "Anna was sultry and very seductive, a 1920s film noir starlet and a real femme fatale," says Vara.
British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor is also a great source of inspiration.
"The Cleopatra collection is opulent and glamorous. The ring has smoky quartz as the main stones surrounded by two snakes and black diamonds on the head and tail, and red garnet eyes," Vara says.
Now based in Hong Kong, she is in talks with local stockists. "The Vara of London woman needs little introduction - she exudes elegance and has a timeless sense of beauty so she's very much like the Hong Kong woman."
For more details, go to varaoflondon.com