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Designer Talk



By Sanhati Banerjee

Plan Your Wedding got five jewellery designers talking about all that’s trending in jewelllery, the bride and lots of ideas that could help with your jewellery shopping. Let’s hear what they had to say.

 Bridal jewellery in India has witnessed (you got it right, is still witnessing!) a spurt of new concepts and game-changing ideas giving birth to a new generation of smart shoppers and brides who select their own jewels. Five jewellery designers from across India keyed us into the key winter bridal jewels and decoded a few fancy household modern jewellery terms for us. Read on to rediscover jewellery this season!


Gemologist designer (GIA, USA) Aakanksha Jindal, Jindal Jewellers, Chandni Chowk shares her inputs for the coming winter-wedding season. Here is the excerpt of the interview.


PYW: As a jewellery designer, if you are to describe the concept of Indian bridal jewellery that is constantly evolving, how would you describe it?
Aakanksha: Jewellery design is so versatile in India that it varies from state to state. However, some basic jewellery is common among all the women across India. Bridal jewellery like choker sets; maangtika, earrings, nose rings, necklace, mangalsutra, bangles, pacheli etc are preferred by Indian women. Incidentally, even today, gold is used for bridal ornaments and over the last decade it has increasingly began to be studded with diamonds for beauty. Nowadays, Indian brides-to-be have become very selective and are opting for jewellery items that can be worn for later also.


PYW: Tell us about the jewel items that you think will top the wish list of brides-to-be this winter-festive season?
Aakanksha: The choker sets, heavy bangles over delicate attires are going to dominate the mood of the brides-to-be this season. Jewellery that can be worn at other functions like cocktail parties and family dinners will top the wish list. Working women might prefer delicate pendant sets and rings which aren’t too high positioned so as to not interfere with their clothing. The classic traditional design pattern with a twist of their own is all set to return.


PYW: What according to you are the differences to be kept in mind between cocktail and wedding jewellery?
Aakanksha: Cocktail jewellery is manufactured as ornaments to complement a particular fashionable costume. So, while shopping for cocktail jewellery one must keep in mind to match it with the attire along with broad bracelets, heavy danglers, brooch sets and big designed rings. Whereas, wedding jewellery of brides-to-be should be chosen with utmost care. It must include all the traditional jewellery items like mangalsutra, nath (nose ring), engagement ring, bangles and toe rings. A bride must have all the jewellery items which complete her shringaar.


PYW: How exactly would you define “statement jewellery pieces”? How can these be ncorporated in weddings?
Aakanksha: Just follow the mantra ‘less is more’. And make sure to wear it where it can get proper display. One has to be careful while purchasing statement jewellery pieces as they get out of fashion very soon as compared to classic traditional designs. Handmade jewellery is being considered as exotic in comparison to casted jewellery.


PYW: Multi-purpose jewellery is in vogue. Could you elaborate on this for our readers?
Aakanksha: I believe multi-purpose jewellery is a fabulous concept and is a must-have for every woman! Multipurpose jewellery is one where one item can be worn differently at different occasions. Whether it is a necklace or pendant or earrings, the changeable stones that can be worn more often will be in demand.


PYW: Any ‘glittering’ tip for the bride-to-be before she goes to purchase her bridal jewellery?
Aakanksha: Brides tend to go for extremely elaborate gaudy designs which then just sit in their lockers and are wasted. I would suggest them to purchase what they believe can go with a lot of outfits. Go for elegant, not extremely designer, something that is more eternal than fashionable. No matter what is said, traditional classic jewellery designs are always appreciated more.


Elegancia by Sneha Sharma Mehta showcases a wide range of products ranging from daily, party to bridal wear. Here’s what the young jewellery designer had to say:-


PYW: As a jewellery designer, if you are to describe the concept of Indian bridal jewellery that is constantly evolving how would you describe it?
Sneha: The religious and cultural diversity have a major influence on the jewellery designs of every state in India and the latest trend is that of following your traditions and blending them with the new era jewellery like the way we incorporate the immortal ascetics and modify the iconography to suit the current drapes, embroidery! Despite that, the very famous Indian solah sringar is at the heart of Indian bridal jewellery. Unlike the olden days however, not all modern brides today prefer the layered jewellery look.


PYW: Tell us about the jewel items that you think will top the wish list of brides-to-be this winter-festive season?
Sneha: Jadau jewellery embellished with precious stones and polkis has been the symbol of royalty and class since the Mughal era. It is the current favourite this season. Jadau jewellery symbolizes a traditional bride with the look completed with a matha patti, choker and the rani haar. The increasing impact of Bollywood brides has led to a great demand of the same.


PYW: What according to you are the differences to be kept in mind between cocktail and wedding jewellery?
Sneha: Wedding jewellery is always a combination of pieces clubbed together for an event keeping in mind various elements like the outfit, purpose to highlight the bride whereas cocktail jewellery includes statement pieces where less is more. The cocktail look is highlighted with limited pieces for e.g. a beautiful cocktail ring for the perfectly manicured hands or single statement kadas or broad bracelets or long chandelier earrings. Cocktail jewellery is more artistic, dramatic and eye-catching. as the purpose is to showcase the beauty of one particular design.


PYW: How exactly would you define “statement jewellery pieces”? How can these be incorporated in weddings?
Sneha: Statement pieces basically include exclusive bold motives and styles, which create a story by itself. One can select a particular piece to highlight only the neck by selecting an extraordinarily well spread out neckpiece and go light on the neck line embroidery. Similarly, a broad choker with a small tika can help you keep it simple and elegant. The most important part is to choose to the right design and complement it well by not making the rest very busy in terms of drapes and make up.


PYW: Multi-purpose jewellry is in vogue. Could you elaborate on this for our readers?
Sneha: For the multi-tasking modern woman who lives in the new age of 9-to-5 makeup and long lasting lip colours investing in a versatile piece of jewellery is not only a smart investment but also a very handy solution to complete various looks when on the move thus making the most of her investment by wearing it differently at different times.With the changing lifestyles and trends, multi-purpose jewellery is becoming very user friendly for e.g. a three-in-one pair of earrings where you pay for one and enjoy three different looks! A long earring can be divided into three looks to make it multi-purpose like the top most portion can be worn as small daily wear earrings or balis and the same can be enhanced by using the second half of the earring as a pendant which makes the look a little more dressy and complete and the third look can be called the evening or a party look which is that of the complete long earrings. These pieces can be clubbed with a variety of clothes like the standalone diamond balis can be worn with any formal attire or dress in office or for a casual outing. Enhance the same by adding the pendant for a meeting, later the complete long earrings can be carried as the evening dinner look or a party look by adding a scarf to the same formal dress and by adding a slight change to the makeup and hairdo.


PYW: Any ‘glittering’ tip for the bride-to-be before she goes to purchase her bridal jewellry?
Sneha: Don’t select jewellery for the materials but keep your skin tone and face cut in mind. Always finalise your jewellery before wedding ensemble to avoid the clutter and accordingly select your embroidery, neckline, colour story and makeup.


Mirari by Mira Gulati specializes in creating contemporary classics with a global feel but embedded in an Indianness. Here’s what celebrated jewellery designer Mira Gulati had to say:-


PYW: As a jewellery designer, if you are to describe the concept of Indian bridal jewellery that is constantly evolving how would you describe it?
Mira: The design patterns and gem stones have evolved in the past decade. The standard designs which were worn and admired by everyone are no more preferred by the brides now. The cuts too have evolved, like the statement rectangle emerald has been transformed to many other shapes and cuts, the oval shaped ruby which was earlier used as the centre stone in many ornaments is now used in smaller cuts. The change is appreciated but it is losing out on the old time charm.


PYW: Tell us about the jewel items that you think will top the wish list of brides-to-be this winter-festive season?
Mira: Winter marriages see an intense use of diamonds in dark shades like cranberry, royal blue and violet in sleek neckpieces and chandelier earrings. Large sized maangtika, which generally covers the forehead are a rage too this season. So, both of these will top the wish list of brides–to-be this winter!


PYW: What according to you are the differences to be kept in mind between cocktail and wedding jewellery?
Mira: The design pattern and the precious stones used make all the difference. Wedding jewellery would have an ethnic touch to it, it can be by the way of traditional, ethnic and royal design pattern or it could be the use of red and green gem stones used together in one pattern. It could be coloured diamonds or rubies and emeralds. Cocktail jewellery on the other hand can easily be recognised by its design and the elegant factor of it. The blend of contemporary and traditional is too considered as cocktail jewellery. But the trend of incorporating traditional gold jewellery with evening wear has somewhat dissolved the authenticity of traditional jewellery.


PYW: How exactly would you define “statement jewellery pieces”? How can these be incorporated in weddings?
Mira: Statement jewellery pieces are the pieces which stand apart from the rest of the ornaments; it could be the different designs or the use of different precious stones. The bride of the present times opts for minimal jewellery and keeps one ornament on the heavier side which is the one stunner piece.


PYW: Multi-purpose jewellery is in vogue. Could you elaborate on this for our readers?
Mira: Detachable jewellery or the multi-purpose jewellery is in demand by the to-be-bride of present time. The heavy necklace can be converted into a sleek one or into any other ornament. Or an anklet can be worn as a bracelet or choker. My collection includes these pieces too. For example, a pearl and peacock motif necklace can be converted into a bracelet.


PYW: Any ‘glittering’ tip for the bride-to-be before she goes to purchase her bridal jewellery?
Mira: I would say invest in the piece that you could wear after marriage also. First, the bride-to-be should buy the jewellery and then buy her outfit. Try to avoid colour clash, opt for jewellery in a darker shade of the same colour of the outfit or a lighter shade if you want the jewellery to do all the talking for you.


Rajesh Pathi is the owner of Alankruti Jewel Boutique, Bangalore, which houses the best of handpicked diamonds, gold jewellery and silver articles and offers customisation. Here’s what he had to say:-


PYW: As a jewellery designer, if you are to describe the concept of Indian bridal jewellery that is constantly evolving, how would you describe it?
Rajesh: Indian weddings and grand jewellery go hand in hand. If you look at the jewellery concepts a few decades back, it was all bright gold and the designs were loud. Gold has now evolved into being subtler and the bright colour is gone. Antique jewellery is trending. People prefer peacock designs, mango maalas and multi-purpose jewellery like five-in-one daabus. The designs these days are more intricate and elegant.


PYW: Tell us about the jewellery items that you think will top the wish list of brides-to-be this winter-festive season?
Rajesh: Antique temple jewellery has a special pride of place. It is appropriate and breathtakingly beautiful to wear on the actual wedding day. The bridal ensemble in red or green is a great showcase for the beauty of this kind of jewellery. Other than this, they can also go for jewellery which has a lot of studding in it – rose cut diamonds, 24 facet diamonds, rubies and emeralds.


PYW: What according to you are the differences to be kept in mind between cocktail and wedding jewellery?
Rajesh: Cocktail jewellery is very light and contemporary and the colour of the gold is not at all bright. They are embellished with bold and vibrant coloured stones while wedding jewellery is very grand and looks very traditional though the designs have now become more sophisticated.


PYW: How exactly would you define “statement jewellery pieces”? How can these be incorporated in weddings?
Rajesh: Bridal accessories are getting bolder, a trend that has been popping up more frequently off late. Avoid attention-grabbing patterns – you can opt for lighter neckpieces and longer chains. People are experimenting with neckpieces and earrings. Most of these designs are inspired by traditional kundan and temple jewellery.


PYW: Multi-purpose jewellery is in vogue. Could you elaborate on this for our readers?
Rajesh: Multi-purpose jewellery definitely is in vogue but it has its own pros and cons. It wears out soon as you have to screw and unscrew frequently for its different usages. But yes people do prefer it as they can buy one piece of jewellery and use it as various ornaments. The convertible jewellery can be used as short necklace, long necklace, waist belt and bracelet.


PYW: Any ‘glittering’ tip for the bride-to-be before she goes to purchase her bridal jewellery?
Rajesh: Bride is the main attraction on the wedding day, so the jewellery worn by her should reflect her style. Go for a trusted jeweller and jewellery shopping is better when done months before the big day as it will be hassle free.


Veteran jadau jewellery designer Falguni Mehta’s forte lies in designing traditional jadau with a contemporary sensibility. Here’s what she had to say:-


PYW: As a jewellery designer, if you are to describe the concept of Indian bridal jewellery that is constantly evolving, how would you describe it?
Falguni: While traditional jewellery lacks strong design elements and can easily be stereotyped the trend that is evolving today in Indian bridal jewellery is to accentuate the jewel pieces with individualistic signatures and also customising it as per the scale, location, theme etc. of the wedding. And then of course, it needs to be customised as per the taste and looks of the bride-to-be. Destination weddings have given rise to a very niche segment of custom-made bridal jewellery.


PYW: Tell us about the jewellery items that you think will top the wish list of brides-to-be this winter-festive season?
Falguni: Naths are trending like hot cakes this season courtesy its red carpet success.Naths bring back the glory of vintage charm or maharani glamour making the bride-to-be look every bit regal if done in the right way. Borlas are also high on demand and are steadily replacing the maangtikas. On the whole, the jewellery scheme can be said to have gone back to being traditional and this season will see many brides-to-be saying no to coloured stones. For a softer look, the choker paired with a raanihaar will fare well and haathphools will be very much on a to-be-bride’s wish list. The haathphools can come in delicate floral motifs of pretty lines of pearls.


PYW: What according to you are the differences to be kept in mind between cocktail and wedding jewellery?
Falguni: Cocktail jewellery is essentially modern and consists of creations in pearls, emeralds etc. that can be paired with Western to Indo-western lines of clothing. It conveys a minimalist style statement. On the other hand, bridal jewellery consists of jadau pieces that convey the idea of grandeur. Jhoomkis are going to retain their popularity with brides-to-be.


PYW: How exactly would you define “statement jewellery pieces”? How can these be incorporated in weddings?
Falguni: Statement pieces are imaginative in nature and can evoke a sense of drama. Be it romantic or whimsical, bold or exaggerated, highlighted or nuanced – statement pieces carry the signature ‘you’ or at least should as that is the whole philosophy behind creating such fanciful pieces. For weddings, you have to pick one particular feature that you would like to highlight with a statement piece and dress down the rest of the elements. Also, not all statement pieces so to say go with heavy Indian bridal wear which are also high on the statement value. So you need to be careful while coordinating the look!


PYW: Multi-purpose jewellery is in vogue. Could you elaborate on this for our readers?
Falguni: Changeable jewellery is such a practical and beautiful option for contemporary brides-to-be! There can be five-lines to two-lines in detachable neckpieces. Design elements can be added as well as diminished. Sometimes brides dismantle the entire piece and break it into two separate jewellery items thus giving her so many more options to use and re-use her jewellery. Multi-purpose jewellery is essentially multi-wear jewellery; so a classic single-line polka neckpiece can be paired with either a saree or a shirt!


PYW: Any ‘glittering’ tip for the bride-to-be before she goes to purchase her bridal jewellery?
Falguni: Do not succumb to peer pressure or just don’t buy anything that someone tells you is very trendy these days. Buy smart and wear beautiful!

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