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Courting Moonlight Glam with Chandbalis

By Sanhati Banerjee

We catch up with chandbalis––the versatile moon-shaped earrings that have come to us as a legacy from the Nizam dynasty. Chanbalis channel statement glam coupled with a romantic look. Available in all sizes and suitable for all face shapes, these are your go-to pieces for any wedding, party or do.

The moon, moonlight and the moonlit night or chaandni raat have been immortalised in Indian popular culture and literature––be it in Hindi film songs /names or in poetry with the effect that we have the shape and silhouette of the moon appearing in our accessories and jewellery collections now and then. Most notable of them all are the chandbalis that are the moons for your ears! ‘Chandbalis’, does it ring a bell? These are the crescent-shaped, stone-encrusted drop-dead gorgeous pair of earrings that have a vintage allure and instant glam quotient tucked into them. A statement piece in itself, “chandbalis are the crescents ornamented with rubies, emeralds, pearls and other semi-precious stones” says Akanksha Arora, CEO, Amrapali. Due to its versatility, they are a must-have for any bride-to-be or for that matter, any woman who loves to dress up. The design elements that have gone into the creations of chandbalis by Amrapali are Mughal motis, in addition to Rajasthani elements. The beaded elements and hand painted motifs that are a part of these exquisite chandbalis are fish, flowers, peacocks, hanging pearls, hanging emeralds /rubies. “If it’s an oversized chandbali, you don’t need any other accessory and it looks best with tied hair” adds Akanksha Arora.

Decoding the Trend
A trendsetter of sorts, chandbalis are perfect for that modern woman who has an independent sense of style and yet has a romantic leaning with a taste for the vintage. Known for her modern sensibilities, the contemporary woman who is also inclined to Indian heritage and traditions can find the perfect style statement in these pretty pairs, which are not necessarily “huge or heavy” as pointed out by adornologist Varuna D Jani. These have the perfect combination of classic look with innovative designs to suit the varied personalities of the wearers. So just because you are wearing chandbalis, you need not be restricted to wearing only traditional designs. The chandbalis that form a part of Varuna D Jani’s collection have been etched in this design language that speaks of fusion and plain novelty.

The collection includes chandbalis in a variety of styles; with a jewelled center and delicate stone or pearl hangings. Studded with glittering precious stones and embedded in sparkling white gold, each individual pair exudes a royal touch. “The crescent ornamented with rubies, emeralds and multi-coloured sapphires are certain to entice you and make you the showstopper at any occasion” says Varuna D Jani. Whether it is a vintage-retro look that you want to flaunt with your royal outfit at your own or your sister /friend’s wedding or a chic look to go with your subtle couture outfit or simply use them as your statement accessory pick, you can create your own style with the chandbalis you choose. The look that you create will depend upon the size, materials, colours and motifs that you choose. For instance, “a chandbali in white gold encrusted with diamonds will go perfectly well with your Western evening gown” says Varuna D Jani. On the other hand, a chandbali in yellow gold encrusted with ruby and pearls or uncut diamonds and emeralds will go well with your pre-wedding or wedding ensemble.

Wearing Chandbalis
Perfect for any occasion, chandbalis know how to up the glam and grace quotient of any outfit. A must-have in your jewellery collection, the setting of changeable coloured stones adds to its charm and versatality and directly positions it within the contemporary range of multi-wear jewellery. As Indian designs and jewellery are dotting collections across globe, “chandbalis will flatter almost everyone as they lend that Indian yet contemporary vibe to them” says Rajesh Tulsiani, co-director, Dwarkadas Chandumal Jewellers.
Be it your bridal lehenga or saree, pre-wedding Anarkali, the hand painted saree that you have bought for an evening outing or that evening gown, pairing chandbalis with your Indian or Indian-toned outfits will bring in a rare ethnic-contemporary look. “Following the shape of our precious moon, chandbalis are a fulfilling and wholesome jewellery creations. Perfect for any face shape, these earrings are available in all sizes––whether large or small” points out Rajesh Tulsiani.

A product for all seasons, chandbalis are here to stay and are one of the most evergreen earring designs that even future generations would love to wear. Pair it up with any Indian outfit and let grace take over. Circular designs bowing to the moon shape (whether half or full) is the base of any chandbali design. Depending on your design sensibilities, you can play around with the danglers and the metal and materials used. “Try and tie your hair or put it up in a bun so the chandbalis bask in the attention and accentuate your face and features. Keep the neck light or even if the neck is bare, you have stolen the show with these creations” says Rajesh Tulsiani while signaling the single most important styling mantra for wearing chandbalis.


Diverse Designs, Many Moods
Chandbalis suit women with a neo classic personality the best. She is a romantic and elegant person; basically someone who loves classic but also a little bit of dangling along with it. She likes excitement and joy in her jewellery. “As an adornologist, I strongly advocate that the right balance of coloured stones should be maintained while it’s embedded in diamond jewellery or any other metal…You have a variety of designs that can complement both hi street or couture outfits, the mantra is to have the right mix. Also, one should choose the coloured stone that suits their personality and skin tone” opines Varuna D Jani. Setting the tone from a high-pitched retro to a toned down cocktail camaraderie, or from a sharply glittering party note to an ethnic-themed artistic melody–chandbalis can assemble all your diverse dos and themes of occasions as per the design and mood boards. How and why are they so diverse? The answer is simple enough––simply be choosing a different size (small for the chic factor and large for the maharani glam look); by choosing your shades carefully (the deep royal ones for the vintage look and the blended and lighter tones for the casual look) and by choosing your motifs with caution (from natural to flora-fauna motifs, from temple to royal and from geometric to folk) you can create the perfect one that will complement your outfit and mood.
Whether you choose sass or sophistication, drama or elegance–chandbalis remain a vital jewellery pick for the bride-to-be and her family.

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