Mumbai magic in Jade’s jewellery
GAYATRI RANGACHARI SHAH
JADE Jagger twirled in front of a mirror as she tried on a crocheted Vanessa Bruno jacket at Le Mill, a large and fashionable concept store near Mumbai’s docks.
It was a momentary distraction from her more serious task at hand: holding her first fine-jewellry trunk show in India, the country she has called her spiritual and creative home from a very young age.
“It’s a little bit scary to sell jewellry here because it’s such a huge part of Indian culture,” Jagger said, as Mumbai socialites and Bollywood aspirants floated through the airy industrial-chic space, a former rice mill that now carries homegrown and international designers.
She took a back seat as customers inspected her creations, letting her assistants do the talking.
The jewellery collection, called Jade Jagger, tiptoes between earthy and modern, with necklaces, rings and bracelets set in gold, emeralds and diamonds, some with the skull imagery she is known for, and others with rudraksha beads, the traditional seeds used in Hindu prayer.
Her designs have won fans with the local glitterati.
“Jade’s designs have a rock-star sensibility,” said Karan Bhojwani, a young mana b o u t - t o w n who is a party disc jockey.
“She uses I n d i a n c r a f t s - manship but is totally current.” He and his girlfriend, Lisa Haydon, a fashion model, bought a rudraksha and amethyst necklace with a black onyx skull for Rs28,000 (about $500).
“Jade is the anti Paris Hilton, and won’t PR herself to death,” said Cecilia Morelli Parikh, one of the three founders of Le Mill, which hosted the trunk show in February. “She’s actually quite reserved.” The only child of Mick and Bianca Jagger, Jade has had a well-travelled and well-chronicled luxe bohemian life (Andy Warhol was an early baby sitter).
Turning 40 last year was a revelation, she said, and perhaps an impetus to settle.
“For all women it’s quite something to start looking in the mirror and r e a l i s e you’re getting older, or at least that you’re not getting any younger,” Jagger said. “But I feel I have matured in a good way. You are a bit more accepting of yourself. It’s great to know all the things I know now, and to be in love.” Ah, yes, love. Jagger is to be married, for the first time, to Adrian Fillary, a festival promoter and DJ, perhaps later this year (she’s not telling when).
He proposed in February in Goa, where Jagger has had a home since 2007 and where she now spends four to five months of the year.
Her languorous life there includes living in a bungalow on Ashwem Beach, near the buzzing French restaurant La Plage, where she often dines when she’s not entertaining her wide circle of friends.
Two years ago, she opened a Jade Jagger store next to her bungalow.
When asked why she wanted it so close to her home, a somewhat curious thing for a celebrity, she replied, “I wanted a small carbon footprint.” In addition to jewellery, the store carries her line of clothing (made in Goa, naturally) and textiles sourced from travels around India.
“We have a lot of stuff with brocade, evening dresses, jackets and, of course, beautiful fabrics like hand-looms from Kerala, intricate embroidery from the north and Orissa, and Naga blankets,” she said.
Jagger’s love affair with India started at age 9, when she visited with her father, travelling to Goa, staying on houseboats in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and trekking in the mountains of Ladakh. Her first business, making beading and fine jewellery, was done from India, which led to being appointed creative director of Garrard, the storied jewellery house in London.
“After Garrard, I wanted to come back to my home – I feel the whole of India is my creative home,” she said.
“Only in a place like this do I feel that you come across the most amazing craftsmanship.” India is also her muse. Compared with London, which she finds “austere and restricted and with everyone in black,” she finds Indian cities like Mumbai “warm, full of colour and filled with more dressed-up people.” Apart from jewellery, Jagger also designs interiors, with projects in Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore. She has also designed resorts and homes in New York, Marrakesh and elsewhere in a partnership with Yoo, a designerdriven developer in London.
Jagger has two daughters, Assisi, 19, and Amba, 17, by her former partner and high school sweetheart, artist Piers Jackson. Assisi is at a university in England, and Amba, who was recently engaged, according to British news reports, is finishing school in London. Both visit often, although Jagger said that they would “sometimes like to go someplace else,” other than India. In addition to homes in London and Goa, Jagger also spends time on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza, where she keeps at least one home.
Her famous parents are also regulars on the India circuit. She is close to them, although they are hardly ever in the same place, so a weekly phone call must suffice.
Jagger plans to hold more trunk shows in Mumbai, where she visits each week.
“I’m not in the Bollywood set or anything too racy,” she said. “It’s nice to have friends here and to feel some electricity after being on the beach all the time.”