The vault: Zohra Rahman

The creative and super-edgy jewellery designer, Zohra Rahman, unlocks her vault to share some of her favourite designs

How/when did you get interested in jewellery?

Rather than being interested in jewellery specifically, I’ve always been interested in creativity and jewellery has become my chosen medium of expression. The more I work in this field the more my fondness for the art of adornment grows. I find it fascinating how jewellery’s only function is to serve as ornamentation. It needs to be practical because it is worn on the body but it doesn’t need to serve an essential purpose. I love this contradiction; it’s a hybrid of art and fashion. I also find it fascinating that the process of creating these embellishments is so gritty and dirty, like engineering. Because of the materials used, these pieces are so durable, they can last a lifetime, and carry so much meaning with them. Before manufacturing, I pay extra attention to what we put out in the world because it will be around for ages.

What are your favourite pieces of jewellery (precious or costume)?

It’s very hard for me to choose favourites. A favourite from today is certain to be dated when I look back, it becomes a stale reminder of my past, a different stage in my life. But currently one of my favourites is a choker with Swarovski crystal links from my new collection Mercy. I like how the Swarovski crystals jut out and how it makes me feel when I wear it — strong and at the same time glamorous. I like pairing it with something casual as it has the ability to make an ordinary outfit truly special.

Is there any piece you are emotionally attached to and why?

The pieces I get emotionally attached to are the ones that connect me to a certain place or person. As much as I enjoy making pieces for myself, I always feel that I’m too involved in them for them to stir any lasting emotion — it’s like I’m floating in my own world without any deeper sense of attachment.

Share a story with us about how you acquired one of your favourite pieces?

Other than the ones I have designed and produced myself, my mother has given me some of my favourite pieces, as is the case with most Pakistani girls. She’s got quite a range of jewellery and I am lucky to inherit some of my favourite pieces from her.

Is there anything on your radar that you want to get in the future?

More machinery and equipment for my workshop (so I can make more jewellery)!

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