Anisha’s present draws heavily from her past – the story of her family migrating from India to UK and re-imagining their identity in a foreign land stays with her still. Her work is influenced by her hybrid heritage, finding beauty in the best of both worlds. Growing up in London, her aesthetic was tempered not just by her own family’s history, but the diverse cultures and ethnicities that strings together the city’s urban landscape. Her namesake label finds itself at the juncture of all things urban and ethnic, coupling the influences with a sharp, modern edge. ‘My inspiration comes from the multi-cultural melting pot of London, the mix of diverse cultures all fused with British traditions. I have an Indian & British heritage and I can choose parts of each that make me truly myself. It is this urban/ethnic sensibility I like to show through my designs. Looking at traditional tribal jewellery from around the world and making it more graphic and modern.’
Initially, Anisha studied textiles until she enrolled at London College of Fashion to pursue a Masters in Fashion Artefact. It was here that she unraveled her fascination with sculpture, and filtered the influences into her jewellery. Empire, her debut collection, drew its influences from the royal, tribal and colonial jewellery during the British Raj in India. The bold, striking earrings, neckpieces and body chains were realized in hand etched wood and acrylic set with mother of pearl inlays. Indigo saw a curious fusion of inspiration from Las Pozas surrealist sculptures by Edward James with traditional mayan tribal shapes. The collection further underscored her unmissable style, handcrafted with blue marble acrylic and intricate gold foil encased inlay work.
[L to R] Empire; Indigo
Whenever her mind wanders off, Anisha reaches out to a chest full of her grandmother’s jewels for inspiration. ‘My family has been really instrumental to my work. Their migrant story from India, East Africa to Britain has always been an inspiration as well as the antique jewellery they have collected on their journey; which is now my jewellery archive. My grandfathers and ancestors were traditionally all tailors and when my parents settled in London they sought to set up their own luxury menswear store. This drive and business acumen has always been an inspiration and it is this raw ambition I love to project into my own work.’ Her latest collection titled Ivory delves into her own heritage that stems from Uganda and Mombasa. Each piece is a combination of ivory marble acrylic, hand painted wood, dyed orange veneer and real glass mirror; all unified by hand finished gold bolts. This year will see Anisha digging deeper into her Indian roots, which takes centrestage in her next series.