Farah Khan: A Bejewelled Life
“This book is about Farah Khan’s Life Philosophy embracing the most important values of Love, Spirituality, Nature and Roots. Moreover, it shows the creative process, the alchemy, the translation of philosophical values and the search for an aesthetic, for a visual language which ultimately brings about the creation of a masterpiece,” writes author Paola De Luca.
This quote is on the opening page of this magnificent monograph, Farah Khan: A Bejewelled Life. It is from this point that we get a very strange vibe about what is in store between the covers.
Unquestionably the book is majestic in size and unparalleled in its quality, but the conundrum comes quite early on when there are almost ten pages of testimonials, all attesting to the talents, love and friendship, from celebrities, relatives and colleagues for the designer. Proceeding cautiously and quite closely it becomes progressively more clear that this book was not like most in the way that this was much more of an intimate telling of the designer’s life and a relative small amount of what her physical output is as a designer.
At this juncture one had to question whether this is a book about jewelry or more of a story of a designer’s life’s journey that happens to include jewelry? Personally, this book came off as much more about Farah Khan the philosopher, the woman, and the dispenser of sage words and advice rather than about Farah Khan as a designer of exquisite jewelry.
As said, there are far more non jewelry images than there are mood and atmospheric images to support Farah Khan’s very personal beliefs and inspirations. No reader of this genre, who is expecting masterpieces as described in the opening quote, will want to plod through endless text about the why and wherefore that takes up so much of this book. Granted this is not a heritage brand but an independent jewelry designer with an eponymous brand, which means the reader should be wowed by what they see and experience in terms of the breadth of her body of work—as we have experienced in similar books by James Taffin de Givenchy, Joel Rosenthal, and Lydia Courteille—as opposed to a heritage brand when there is a long history to deal with.
The take away here is indeed very personal as to what one’s expectations would be and the reality of what one receives. This reviewer could have lived without inspirational quotes from Rumi and the like and would have much preferred seeing more jewelry that exhibits Farah Khan’s talents for creating said masterpieces.
Reviewer Jeffrey Felner is a dedicated participant and nimble historian in the businesses of fashion and style. Decades of experience allow him to pursue almost any topic relating to fashion and style with unique insight and unrivaled acumen.