The Aesthete: Tarang Arora talks personal taste

The creative director of Amrapali’s exquisite, opulent jewellery is fuelling a global fascination for Indian style

Tarang Arora at home in Jaipur
Tarang Arora at home in Jaipur | Image: Sara Hylton

My personal style signifier is my collection of bracelets – I pick them up everywhere I go. My latest is a heavy bangle from the flea market in Goa featuring the Makhara: in Buddhism, this mythical animal offers protection. I also wear a bracelet inscribed with my son’s name in Sindhi, beads from Bali, a skull bracelet designed by my wife Akanksha and an elephant-hair piece by the late Jean-François Fichot, who lived in Bali. 

The last thing I bought and loved was a jacket by Anamika Khanna, the best designer in India. She only does womenswear but I managed to persuade her to make me a jacket for a special occasion – it’s heavily sequinned and very flamboyant, and as one of a kind I think it will become a collector’s item. anamikakhanna.in

The Warung bar and restaurant at the Alila Villas Uluwatu
The Warung bar and restaurant at the Alila Villas Uluwatu

And the thing I’m eyeing next is a Patek Philippe Nautilus annual calendar watch. The world-timer doesn’t show India, but I was told in the London boutique that Patek could customise one for me. From £30,210; patek.com.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Bali, for my sister’s wedding. It’s a stunning place; the people are so friendly and the food is amazing. The view from the Warung bar and restaurant at the Alila Villas Uluwatu hotel blew me away. Standing on a cliff looking over the ocean, I felt as if I were in a movie. From £965; Jl Belimbing Sari, Banjar Tambiyak, Desa Pecatu, Bali 80364 (alilahotels.com/uluwatu).

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And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is an abstract painting of a Thai village from Chatuchak, the weekend market in Bangkok, which is now hanging in my London flat. It has gold accents that give it a subtle sheen. 587/10Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak District, Bangkok 10900 (chatuchakmarket.org).

Next on my travel bucket list is Cuba. I’m fascinated by its old-world charm, heritage and culture; and the cars, cigars and churches that I’ve glimpsed in old movies. I think Havana is still growing quite slowly, and I’d like to go before it changes too much.

From left: Patek Philippe Nautilus annual calendar watch, from £30,120. Chanel Sycomore fragrance, from £150 for 75ml
From left: Patek Philippe Nautilus annual calendar watch, from £30,120. Chanel Sycomore fragrance, from £150 for 75ml

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a white cotton Duke shirt by Gucci, with an appliqué tiger all around the collar. It works with jeans in the evening when there’s a smart-casual dress code. About £411; gucci.com

If I didn’t live between Jaipur, Delhi and London, the city I would live in is Hong Kong. Everything runs so smoothly, and it’s compact and manageable. I would live in the Peak area: I love the contrast between the markets and the designer malls. I enjoy wandering around Soho’s art galleries, and I always head to Initial for menswear – I love the immersive experience. Ovo Home is a cool place for homewares and furnishings, and The Design Gallery at the Convention Centre has some amazing gadgets. The Design Gallery, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai (hkdesigngallery.hktdc.com). Initial, L3-358, New Town Plaza I, 18-19 Sha Tin Centre St, Shatin (initialfashion.com). Ovo Home, 501 Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau (ovo.com.hk). 

A Cuban classic car
A Cuban classic car | Image: Getty Images

My failsafe jet-lag cure is to go to the gym for an hour in the morning, to oxygenate, and then try to keep going during the day so that I fall asleep straight away at night. 

The grooming staple I’m never without is fragrance. At the moment I’m obsessed with Chanel’s limited edition Coromandel and Sycomore scents, but I also enjoy trying out the modern Indian-style fragrances at the Bombay Perfumery in Mumbai: my favourite is called 1020. Les Exclusifs de Chanel, from £150 for 75ml; chanel.com. 1020 eau de parfum, $90 for 100ml (bombayperfumery.com). 

Arora’s bangle featuring the Makhara, from the flea market in Goa
Arora’s bangle featuring the Makhara, from the flea market in Goa | Image: Sara Hylton

The last meal that truly impressed me was a dinner at Hunan, the Chinese restaurant in Pimlico. The lettuce wrap with pork, the duck and the lobster noodles were out of this world. 51 Pimlico Rd, London SW1 (hunanlondon.com).

My favourite websites are Xe.com, the currency converter, because I work in multiple countries, and Netflix.com – it hasn’t been in India long and I’m binge-watching everything from The Crown to Sherlock Holmes because I travel so much.

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