Just a few days away from the launch of her new collection, Minnie Menon is smack in the middle of organising her much-touted upcoming pre-event and launch when I finally get hold of her for the interview.
After a hurried introduction, before I can get another word out, she stops me and says, “Can I just sit down here for a minute? Just a minute. You know what it is like before a show... This is when everything is supposed to come together and all hell breaks loose,” and then seamlessly chimes into conversation without even a prompt.
“I’m particularly excited about this show because I don’t usually do pearls and no one really does a collection like this before Deepavali, which is a riot of colours. I dared to be different. I’m like Einstein and I believe “Imagination is greater than knowledge.” I find inspiration in people, colours and travel. Right now, I’m looking at this patch of green and yellow in my garden and even that inspires me. So this collection was inspired by the pearls I found. Anyway, during Deepavali, your clothes are full of colour and sparkle. So, I chose pearls to complement rather than clash with what you are wearing. Besides, today I think pearls are much like diamonds- they are a girl’s best friend. From a 16-year-old girl to a dowager queen you can never go wrong with pearls,” she continues.
Referring to the style of her new collection, she adds, “The Song of the Pearl is a capsule collection that combines both flair and tradition. It is a melodious collection. It’s contemporary in design, but still has a traditional touch because you can’t deviate from the ethereal white and blushing pink pearls. But today, the baroque pearls have invaded the market and they have come in such unusual and intriguing shapes. The ones that I have got have a ‘meandering’ feel and reminds me of a baby elephant’s walk! Those pearls, sourced from a hub in Thailand, are one of my highlights in this collection. I started my love story with Thailand last year when I went there for the gem and jewellery fair and it has continued. But this year, it was on my own trip of discovery.” The collection is priced between Rs 7,000 and Rs 37,000 and, as usual, cast in silver. It will showcase what she calls her “fetish for large pendants.”
Minnie says she is also excited about the collaboration that will be happening as part of the pre-event, a ballroom display and fashion show, with an undisclosed brand. “I cannot tell you which brand it is, but there is a synergy between my work and their collections. We have a similar discerning clientele. And since the event is happening in a ballroom, the act will rise to a different level. My works will be put on display at the event in glass cases within the ballroom, where people can come and enjoy a preview with cocktails, followed by a fashion show which will feature eight it-models from Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Though Song of the Pearl will be the star of the show, the display will also include some of the new and old collections made of semi- precious stones like amethyst, rose-quartz, onyx, chalcedony, sandstones and moonstones as well.”
Though Anu Menon aka Lola Kutty, Minnie Menon’s daughter, usually hosts the launch of her collections, this time it will be RJ Paloma Rao who will anchor the show. “Anu is quite busy this time because of her monologue in the Park Festival, so this time we won’t be doing our mother-daughter gig which we enjoy so much. I think it is one of the best works she has done. She had the whole room in splits. I’m the only one who does not find my daughter funny because she always gets her first laughs in every show imitating my Tamil. She only makes fun of two people from Kerala, one is her mother and another is Shashi Tharoor,” says Minnie with a laugh. She adds, “The only time I thought my daughter was funny was when I told her one evening that we had three parties to show up at that day and she replied, “Mama, I’m getting too old to be able to catch up with you.” Ha!”