Revisiting the classics
Kundan chokers, gem-studded haathphool (a bangle with rings attached connected by delicate chains), meenakari bangles, jadau kamarbandh (an elaborate piece of jewellery worn around the waist)—these are but some of the traditional jewellery from different parts of India. Vintage pieces get passed down generations on momentous occasions such as marriages and births. These are often intricate works of art that are not only priceless classics but also represent the blessings of the elders of the family.
In addition to contemporary trends such as layered neckpieces and funky earrings, the traditional designs still hold pride of place in many a jewellery collection. In fact, antique jewellery with its dull finish and understated elegance has made a huge comeback this season.
The navratna(jewellery made of nine gemstones) and polki diamond set teamed with a maang tikka and jhoomar worn by the celebrity bride of the year, Mira Rajput (who married actor Shahid Kapoor), brought out the grandeur of her rich bridal ensemble and made a unique style statement. The beauty of the polki diamond set remains unmatched and is much coveted.
The kaashumala/kaashuhaaram, heavy jhumkis, and other traditional pieces of temple jewellery such as the mullamottu mala have always been an indispensable part of a South Indian Hindu bride’s outfit and have now gone pan-Indian. The flamboyant and traditional manga mala, intricately set with precious stones, combines grace and trendiness like no other. Palakka mala, the naagapadathaali, ilakkathali, poothaali and kannuneerthulli earrings are also hot favourites and worn as an exclusive piece to contrast with heavily embroidered silk outfits.
The Mughal heritage of toe rings, baajubandhs (armlets) and anklets intricately done in enameled gold (meenakari) and adorned with gems (jadau style) are in vogue across the nation now. The time-honoured paisley shapes and floral patterns, glittering stars, swans and lotus patterns, geometrical designs and delicate filigree are much in demand.
The graceful long haar(chain) combined with a classic choker is a popular combination now. Gutta Pusaluharam or necklace with heavy bunches of beautifully adorned small pearls or precious stones like rubies, emeralds or kundans, clustered along an antique gold chain is another enviable style choice.
The legacy of bygone centuries finds its rightful place of honour in Indian jewellery.