June 6, 2017


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Between Math and John Currin, Art and Jewellery
Haute Jewelry Designer, New York

Born as the daughter of a jewellery designer, Payal Mehta has been surrounded by jewellery most of her life but tried her hand at many things before embracing jewellery design. She studied math and physics, fantasised of becoming an interior architect and even became a certifies chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute NY. She eventually fell in love with a diamond merchant and started her own brand. But she is not only a creator but also collector and has bought pieces of Hirst, Murakami or Shaw believing that art collecting and jewelry design inspire and enrich each other.

Having also a passion for physics and astronomy, her “Constellation” collection is very much influenced by the signs of the zodiac.“Slice” on the other hand, is influenced by the Japanese art of wabi-sabi, a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of imperfection.

In between maths, art and jewellery, we had a little chat on John Currin, the MET and how to upgrade a Jil Sander bag with stickers by her daughter.

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In the art world currently I find most exciting that…
The convergence of art and fashion. I adore how they are colliding to form richer collaborations, events, products, etc. For example, the Met Gala is extraordinary.

Number of unanswered mails in your account…
I am constantly travelling, and though I try to stay on top of them, messages from all over the world are constantly pouring in. I actually even have multiple email accounts and multiple phones for specific countries. Working through so many different time zones, it is a challenge to keep up, but I am getting better and better at it. When I sat down to talk I was back to down to zero, but I am sure that will change by the time we are finished.

My perfect working outfit…

I tend to wear classics, timeless pieces. I love Brunello Cucinelli, Chloe and Alexander McQueen.

My everyday online art read is…
Artnet. They cover it all on a global scale. They really have the scene down, whatever aspect it is, they have their finger on the pulse of the fairs, auctions, hot new artists. It’s really comprehensive, informative and exciting. I get everything I need in one place. There is also the art gorgeous of course.

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My necessary extravagance is…
Pieces of jewellery with beautiful, rare stones. I also love beautiful handbags that are really thoughtfully designed. I really like customising them and really making them my own. My latest is an Hermes bag that I’ve accented with a colorful Fendi strap. The pairing makes it something totally new. Whenever I wear it, people always ask if it is by some fabulous new designer. Recently I pulled out a Jill Sanders bag and had a wonderful time with my daughter adorning it with fun stickers and labels. They were placed very strategically to keep a clean, structured look. That’s another one people are always asking about.

Most ridiculous thing I’ve ever bought…
I purchased a pair of Comme des Garçon sneakers. I thought they would be a fun change, but I realised very soon after that they were completely wrong for me. I really love beautiful pumps. Sorry, but I am just a girl who loves to dress up when it comes to shoes. The silhouette is just so feminine and confident.

My ultimate secret after long working hours…
Meditation, walks and spending time with my beautiful family.

My favourite collaboration of the art- and fashion world…
Personally, I recently worked on a wonderful collaboration with the National Jewelry Institute and the Louvre, where I created an incredibly special, one-of-a-kind piece to be exhibited as art. After all, the craft of jewellery and design is itself a medium of art. It has been one of the highlights of my career.

My favourite hashtag…
I love # priceless . I am always drawn to that perfect balance of chic and comfortable. It’s a necessity when you travel as much as I do.

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On my office table I always have…
Pictures of my family that inspire me. I also have a very special silver paper weight in the shape of a smooth stone, like the kind you would skip on water. Across the face of it, the word “Peace” is written in many languages in many styles of handwriting. It is a beautiful reminder of what I wish for everyday, more peace and unity. In my opinion there is not enough of it in the world.


The most arty city is…

There are so many, with a beautiful story in all of them, but I would say New York is my place to rejuvenate. It has an ever-changing landscape of art at all levels, from galleries to museum exhibitions to international fairs. I adore the Irving Penn exhibition that is currently at The Met. It is such an iconic, brilliant show that brings together art and fashion in such a breathtaking way. The New York scene is really electric. I am also enchanted by the arts scene in China. Shanghai is edgy and very exciting.


Who are the best dressed in the art world…

Tali Lennox, Angela Goding, Pari Ehsan, Rachel Feinstein (sculptor and wife of John Currin), Yayoi Kusama, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Noreen Ahmad, Ashley Gai

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Describe yourself with three emojis…

Smiling Emoji with Heart, Eyes Kiss Emoji, Diamond

Art world gent I would love to have lunch with?
John Currin. I love what he does. He is enormously talented. I would love to hear his perspective on life, love and art.

Artist(s) we should have on our watch list is/are…
Yayoi Kusama and Mickalene Thomas, Racquib Shaw of course. There are also some young, up and coming artists this year that I have my eye on: Ryan Mrozowski (www.ryanmrozowski.com), Ted Asnis (www.tedasnis.com), and Patricia Coulter (www.patriciacoulter.com).

 

Photos by Payal Mehta

Instagram: payalnewyork