What a Gem
Munnu the Gem Palace prince Siddharth Kasliwal honors his father with his first collection.
Developed during the Byzantine Empire and employed by artists like René Lalique and Peter Carl Fabergé, plique-à-jour, the technique of filling metal frames with enamel to create a stained-glass effect, is challenging, time-consuming, and rarely seen today. But for Siddharth Kasliwal, the 30-year-old scion of Munnu the Gem Palace, India’s preeminent jewelry house, using it was the perfect way to debut as a designer. “My father made two pieces with it later in his life, one of which—a pair of peacock earrings—was just on view at the Kremlin,” explains Kasliwal, who took over the company two years ago, after the illustrious Munnu Kasliwal passed away. “I felt my first pieces ought to be inspired by him.” His collection, including one knockout flower necklace, was not exactly easy to produce. “It took eight months and many trials and errors,” Kasliwal admits. But having worked under Munnu since he was a teenager, Kasliwal had the knowledge to overcome any production snafus. “He was my guru,” he says of his father. “And I tried to put everything he taught me into this.”