Waris Ahluwalia embraces Old World craftsmanship with unequivocal zeal. "My inspiration is always love and history, and my passion to a fault is craftsmanship and responsibility. Those are the simplest things. It goes beyond jewelry. It's every part of my life. There's nothing that I've worn, right now, that wasn't made for me. I already speak that. I just don't speak it, I already live that. That has to continue through the work," the jewelry designer and actor told Interview.
In celebration of House of Waris' inaugural collaboration with Forevermark Diamonds, and the launch of Forevermark's "The Center of My Universe" collection, which honors the idea of a woman as the emotional center of those around her, friends and diamond enthusiasts gathered at The National Arts Club for an evening of decidedly old New York swank. Waiters circled the wood-paneled, chandelier-adorned salon with trays bearing shrimp, truffles, and flutes of Veuve Cliquot, while a live jazz band played.
The jewels, displayed throughout the library-like space under bell jars and glass vitrines (and guarded by discreetly placed bodyguards) were well-matched for the sumptuous surroundings, which included fragrant arrangements of white lilies and roses, Victorian-era ephemera, velvet tufted settees, and gilt-framed portraits in oils.
Dressed in a tailor-made suit, exuberant scarlet pocket square, and cream Esquivel lace-up boots, Ahluwalia was undoubtedly the man of the evening, fielding hugs and kisses from a series of well-wishers, and of course, directing guests in the direction of his design.
The piece in question, a stunning pendant thoughtfully arranged in a tableau over a stack of The Handbook of British Birds, features a 14.58-carat oval diamond, with anemone-like rays of pave radiating from the center. The central oval is the largest Forevermark diamond ever featured in a designer collaboration. Interview is pleased to present an exclusive series of Ahluwalia's sketches today.
"It's a really simple idea—beauty, rarity, and responsibly sourced. Those are the things that I speak to, speak of in my work in general. Philosophically and ethically we were aligned, and it just made sense," Ahluwalia said of the collaboration. It sounds like the beginning of a beautiful, bejeweled friendship.
For more photos from the launch, click here.