SIGNET OF THE TIMES

270 Signet of the Times

(I’m back, friends!)

Ever since publishing my last post, I felt reinvigorated – enough to consider what the next post was going to be about. And it came to me quite simply (they have only been on my mind for the longest time)… Signet rings!

The history of signet rings (how they came to be, basically) is what is most interesting to me. Back in the olden days, illustrious folk used to seal important documents and maybe, secret letters (each) with a glob of sealing wax that was impressed upon with their coat of arms. I don’t quite know if typically, it used to be first, a stamp (with the wooden handle) and then later was turned into something convenient, i.e. having the seal set within the bezel of your ring (it would have been easier to have your stamping ring on you at all times). (Speaking of which, I have been longing to make my own sealing wax kit!)

To have your own trademark in the form of a seal is very exciting to me, and from what I have deduced, people usually opted to create motifs that are only theirs, much like a logo that forms the signet. Maybe a fleur-de-lis or rose combined with perhaps their monogram or something else representational like an animal, object or ornament etc. These motifs tell you about the individual, what they stood for or were associated with; which is perhaps why it may have been restricted to certain sects of people (kind of sad because I am a common woman and had I been born then, I would certainly have loved to have the means to forge a crest as part of my legacy).

Getting to the jewellery bit (sorry it took forever) – I do have quite the thing for antique and heirloom pieces, could you tell? Signet rings are exquisite to have and hold; of course, in today’s day and age, it might not be the simplest to get your own such ring made (it would be fairly expensive, for one)… Even so, here are a few I spotted on the interwebz that left a lasting impression on me (see what I did there, heh):

Cosma Signet Ring, KATKIM – $990

Femme Ring, Wolf Circus – $140

Giulia Ring, CINCO – €45

Grande Dame Signet Ring, Maison Mayle – $250

Morena Saint Ring, Five and Two –  Rs. 3,039.71

Signet Ronde Gold, MIMI ET TOI – €80.00

Slim Signet Ring, Ariel Gordon – $450

Wyatt Signet, Merewif – $66

Closer to home, I’ve spotted one on Sreesha’s website, SHOP LUNE and something kinda sorta like a signet ring on KICHU (I mean, the signet ring has Egyptian roots and this could very well pass off as one!). I also have a ring from Forever 21 (not pictured here). I bought it a few years ago, and I love the almost arabesque inscription; it is even better that the signet opens up (like a locket) to reveal an embossed symbol of a Roman cross. I’ve been wearing it a lot, recently; I’ve come to think of it as my very own Papal ring (ha)!

P.S. This post has been exceptionally long but if you’re still here and reading, I should tell you that year’s Met Gala theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination contributed further to my thinking about heirloom-like, almost Victorian fashions. I would have loved to see close-ups of anyone wearing signet rings at the event but sadly, when I was researching for this piece, I didn’t find any. Should you have any information, I beseech you to share it in the comments below! (In order of their appearance, the picture credits are as follows: Wolf Circus, FINE LIFE CO, Marko MacPherson, LUV AJ, The Deeps, Merewif, HONESTLY WTF, Merewif.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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THE LIGHT IS COMING

269 The Light Is Coming

Or is it not… Did the light take a cosmic detour? 

Hey, hey, so, I’ve been away. – Oh, and this is a picture I took (of my reflection in a floor-length mirror at Cinnamon in Bangalore) on my 31st birthday, etc. I know it is unusual to share pictures of myself on my blog but I thought, Hey, why not? (It was a lovely day, and I liked my outfit.) I don’t usually photograph well and hate posting pictures of myself on a public forum unless I have taken the picture (and think it looks fine) or yeah… I know, so finicky and weird. Well, that’s me in a nutshell for you! (Nothing alluring/inviting, there.)

So back to the topic at hand, I thought I’d drop some gems (much like in the photograph)! Or maybe just tell you what has been going on, which is, basically, nothing. I am still looking for a job, so there is that. May has been complete mayhem to say the least, I have never before felt the depth of emotions so destructive and distressing, as I did, last month. How’d I escape its confining clutches? (I tried.) There was a two-hour DMT (Dance/Movement Therapy) workshop and a spooky story-telling sesh that I attended (on different days); I met some friends (Ashwita and Krutika) and worked on a mini-series called #mermay (just for kicks, or uh, fins), etc.

What I’m hoping is that June is better. That I can finally get somewhere, be doing something (I promise to pay it forward). I’ve been in the same place for so long, and everyone, everything is just passing me by. Adding to the overall despondency of this post; I had a few bad depressive episodes this month and do you know what’s even sadder? I don’t have enough to see a counsellor on a regular basis or anything (don’t worry; there is something else that could perhaps work out). Anyway, I know they say that it gets worse before it gets better… So, I definitely won’t stop trying. (Please don’t be laughing at me, I’d cry harder if you were to. All the best, ¡mis amigos! May June bring out your compassion and courage, confidence and creativity… I wish you the warmest of viiiiibes.)

(Should you be interested, the marigold-themed silk blouse is from H&M – it was a gift from my mother and my jeans are the 711 Skinny from Levi’s; I wore Minila’s gold Kolhapuri chappals on my feet, a beautiful coral reef necklace from SHOP LUNE on my neck, hoop earrings from H&M in my ears, and a new watch on my wrist (my friend Magali helped me snag this babe from Casio at an excellent price!). 

P.S. Look, don’t get me wrong… I know I rarely get into a super sad mood here on the blog, and that too, on the first day of the month! But know this, I’m always forthcoming on here, and I couldn’t pretend things were better. I mean, yeah, there’s so much to be thankful for. Even so, I do feel emotionally/mentally drained. I’d like to have done something. I’d like to be seen as worthy; only I am not and I feel like I am the human equivalent of the song Fix You by Coldplay. I mean, it’s utterly desperate but kinda hopeful too. That is what I am, right now. Hoping against hope, as Ogden Nash once wrote. (Okay, that brought a smile to my face; it was a crazy poem, wasn’t it?)

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

Super Mario

238 Super Mario

It took me a while to be in complete awe of his work, I don’t exactly know why, but I just knew of Mario Miranda before (like I had heard the name, knew very little about him) and enjoyed seeing some of his drawings and vignettes in select places in Bombay, etc. That was about it! I never really took care to go through his work, or such. Last month though, I went to Goa for a few days; I was staying with my ex-roommate Nandini (Velho), and well (unrelated), her house reminded me of a modern day tree-house, from the furniture to the rooms, etc. Everything just looked so interesting, and the home – so very inviting. Anyway, her dad, Luis (d-uh, a Velho too) is an architect (felt I should inject that, here), and a complete Mario Miranda loyalist.

The walls of their house are covered with some of Mario’s coolest works (there were some outlined drawings in black over fluorescent yellow paper)… And that is where I discovered more artworks apart from the few I used to see at Cafe Mondegar in Colaba. On my last day in Goa, Nandini took me to the Mario Miranda shop in Panjim, and I wanted to buy nearly all the greetings cards, postcards and some of the prints, there. However, I picked up a handful of ten assorted cards for Rs. 200, and can’t wait to stock up on some more, the next time I visit the store. (This card featuring the Le Crocodile bar in Paris is from Mario’s Impressions of Paris set.)

P.S. Oh, and yes, I definitely did learn a little bit more about him now, and otherwise, really want to get some of the poster-sized prints. Also, inspired! Very, very.

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

La Fenêtre June

237 La Fenêtre JuneOkay, so the LOVE for arched windows continues! And I didn’t think I would be able to draw this for the #LearnToDraw series (those arched domes are difficult shapes to create, would you believe), but the outcome does not seem too bad. What do you think? There were some other options that came to mind when doodling windows (there’s a picture on my Instagram feed) but some of those were rather difficult to draw digitally, I think that this version was easier. Also, this is a random mention but this palette of colours makes me think of Mendl’s and The Grand Budapest Hotel, too. Non?

What else, what else? The inspiration to draw these arches came from a recent visit to Jehangir Art Gallery with Sonaksha (Iyengar) – who came to Bombay a few weeks ago. There was this one artist’s paintings, whose work I was completely enamoured with; and I’m kicking myself for not writing his name down. :-( The paintings that he made were so colourful and rich; the details were unbelievably poetic (and very real). The focus of his paintings were arched windows on old-fashioned buildings; and colourfully dressed women drying clothes out in the open and/or walking to the bazaar in the background, and such and such, etc. DAMN! 

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes