House Of Waris Makes Insane Jewelry And Scarves (And Rihanna Loves To Wear Them)

Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris.
Photo: Aaron Stern

Chances are you’ve seen Waris Ahluwalia before. Not only is he the dapper designer for the House of Waris—purveyors of fine jewelry and lustrous scarves—he’s a sometime performer who has appeared in his friend Wes Anderson’s films The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited. What’s so interesting about Waris is that he didn’t start out as a designer or fashion-oriented person, he simply enjoyed well-made products and sought to make his own after becoming interested in craftsmanship. His unusual jewelry designs run the gamut from plumage shapes encrusted in diamonds to geometrical bracelets and copper enamel necklaces featuring gold-adorned swallows. His work is stunning, to say the least, and we here at MTV Style want to show you what he (and his line!) are all about. Aside from making seriously heart-stopping pieces and being thoroughly inspired by music (“Currently I’m listening to the soundtrack for Drive every day. It’s insanely good!” he says), there’s a reason why Rihanna, Solange Knowles, and Chloe Sevigny are die-hard fans…and it may have something to do with these need-them-right-now skull earrings.

GAH-MAZING House of Waris enamel skull earrings.
Photo: Courtesy of House of Waris

Or, you know, 18 karat gold bracelets adorned in mini diamonds. And so much more. You’ve got to see it all to believe it. Thus, right this way…

From left: House of Waris Thorn Dangle Earrings, Shadow Plumage diamond pendant, Open Lantern Cuff.
Photo: Courtesy of House of Waris

Waris is a well-dressed gentleman who truly cares about his products. Yes, you can look at his pieces above and agree that they’re beautiful and be done with it, but there’s much more that goes into it all. At the risk of sounding “cheesy” (his words), he says he was led to jewelry-making by adventure and “the discovery of this world where you can make things with love and care.” All of the products made by House of Waris are done by hand and typically from craftsmen in India. He went there and found makers by word of mouth, and wants his products to tell the story of how these pieces came to be. While the price point is decidedly high for items like the Thorn Dangle Earrings (above left), which are made with dozens of white diamonds, or the Shadow Plumage diamond necklace (Ri Ri’s fave) which is an edgier design made with the most luxurious of materials, there’s no denying that each piece is jaw-droppingly gorge. But can we just stop for a moment and ruminate on this Open Lantern Cuff? I WANT THIS. I want it in my dreams, yes, but it truly is an object of wonderment and beauty. [FULL DISCLOSURE: I tried it on, and it was light as a feather. *Sigh* need a fourth job or a winning lottery ticket.]

From left: House of Waris silk “Kundun” scarf in Larkspur, Psalm scarf in Persia, Roma silk scarf in Larkspur.
Photo: Courtesy of House of Waris

House of Waris scarves are handmade in India by two brothers. They’re cashmere, silk, or cotton silk with block printing, and they feel like melted butter around your neck. Waris, himself, wears scarves, which is why he created these, and all of the ones in his line are unisex. Dudes wearing silk scarves can be extremely handsome when worn the right way. We like them tied loosely under a relaxed shirt with a linen suit for a more dressed-up event, or with a trench coat and sweater on a cooler day. But enough about the dudes, these scarves are perfect for US, too. Sold at Barney’s, they fall in a slightly more affordable price range and are perfect for the holiday season. I have my eye on that honeycomb “Kundun” scarf above.

From left: House of Waris Round White Enamel pendant, Drop Spike earrings, and “Octavian” 24k gold and black enamel bird pendant.
Photo: Courtesy of House of Waris

House of Waris also makes jewelry pieces that are more relaxed (i.e., without the diamond bling) yet still totally badass. “We create objects of beauty,” Waris says. “It’s about celebrating the craft. Before I’m a jeweler, I’m a storyteller.” I think the “Octavian” bird pendant (above right) tells the story of beauty and freedom. There’s a romance to these pieces, so it’s not surprising that Waris says his line is inspired by “love and history.” There’s a love to what he makes that turns into a love you might have with the piece itself (which is why you choose to buy it and wear it), and there’s something nice about that connection from creator to consumer. As Waris puts it, “The woman that I create for—whether it’s the scarves or the jewelry—is bold, intelligent, adventurous, and fearless. It’s not a woman who needs to look at what someone’s wearing and think ’Oh, I need to wear that, too.’ She’s an individual.” Now that’s an ethos we can truly get behind.

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