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New rules of jewellery for the modern Indian woman

The season’s best festive finery decoded for the most beautiful woman in the world

brunch Updated: Oct 16, 2017 11:20 IST
Namita A Shrivastav,kundan,filigree
The right kind of jewellery can easily enhance the look of any outfit. Model: Shilpa Reddy, styling by Namita A Shrivastav, make-up and hair by Sachin Dakoji (Nishat Fatima )

Ladies, winter is coming – the season to take your cues from the runway to fix all your sartorial needs, especially jewellery. Remember: The right piece can add a punch to your wardrobe. Here’s what’s trending this party season, and how to wear it.

Old is gold

Bring out your traditional pieces in uncut diamonds, kundan, filigree, enamel and engraved gold. Antiquity is the biggest luxury. If you have an heirloom piece, flaunt it. Try and get a piece inspired by the jewellery collection owned by the Nizams of Hyderabad. It’s a must-have this season. Precious stones such as emeralds, rubies, uncut diamonds and sapphires are used to create intricate and delicately hand-crafted satlaras (a seven layered necklace), lacchas (chokers), bazubands (arm bands), and chaand baalis (sort of hoop earrings).

Indigenous pieces from Maharashtra such as the putli haar (a necklace made of coins), thussi (gold choker set against thick red thread), Kohlapur saaz (a navel-touching necklace) and tanmani (a small choker pendant held with pearl strings) are part of the repertoire of any good jeweller. Kokkethati, the half crescent gold pendant from Coorg is another must-have. And no collection would be complete without jadav and kundan jewellery from Rajasthan.

Fish earrings set in ruby pota and flat cut diamonds, uncut diamond earrings from Vijay Vithaldas, Hyderabad; ensemble by Anand Kabra at Angasutra (Nishat Fatima)

Moon struck

Fashion designer Asmita Marwah, a regular at fashion weeks, says, “Chaand baalis are my favourite for a cocktail look. I team them with a one shoulder toga dress.” Hyderabad’s jewellery styles – both Nizami and traditional Andhra – lend themselves well to being statement pieces, she says. “A white shirt, black skirt and a laccha (choker) is perfect for a formal occasion. When you’re wearing a statement piece, the canvas has to be simple,” she adds.

The newest trends: which one works best for you
  • Tennis bracelets and statement rings
  • Feisty or dramatic cuffs
  • Floral patterns for earrings and rings
  • Enamel finish
  • Mismatched earrings, according to Kate Moss. So danglers with studs
  • Tassel earrings
  • Tribal rings and chokers

Temple run

The richly engraved and embossed temple jewellery from the Andhra region is wildly popular. Jewellery designer Bunty Bajaj of Krsala says, “I’ve increasingly noticed fusion jewellery using elements of temple jewellery. I really like rubies encrusted in intricately- etched and engraved gold. The craftsmanship from this region is impeccable and of classic value.”

Actor and style icon Rekha has a fine collection of jewellery which she’s often seen wearing with her Kanjivaram saris. For years, Rekha visited Hyderabad to shop for jewellery with Asmita and her mother. “She still wears those pieces and they’ll never go out of style because she picked traditional hand-crafted pieces.” Classic ornaments from the region include the necklaces guttapusulu and maghai mala. While the former has a tribal attitude, the latter is a string of gold paisleys filled with lac and embellished with rubies.

Your how-to checklist: getting ornamental was never this easy!
  • The rules have been bent.
  • Layering is no longer a trend limited to clothes.
  • Stack bangles, multiple rings and multi-layered chains and neck-pieces.
  • Mix metals – rose gold with white,or white gold with yellow, taking layering to another level.
  • Mix delicate with chunky for movement and playfulness.
  • Bohemian neck pieces on bare shoulders is a hot trend.
  • Wear hand bracelets linked to rings.
  • Create your own jumble or choose your statement piece.
  • Mix vintage jewellery with modern, clean silhouettes.

Inspiring designers

Jewellery designer Queenie Singh has an impressive client list that includes the likes of Queen of Morocco, Hillary Clinton, Malaika Arora and Shilpa Shetty. She says, “Traditional jewellery is exotic and Hyderabad’s heritage jewellery is legendary. I have a few pieces including Victorian designs, which I wear depending on my mood rather than my dress. For me, jewellery is all about carriage. I wear mine with a black cocktail gown or even a white shirt and a pair of jeans. My jewellery tends to look important!”

The rich history of jewels has impressed and inspired designers such as Sabyasachi Mukherjee, JJ Valaya, Anamika Khanna and Tarun Tahiliani to name a few. The right piece of jewellery can lock a look. Which is why a few fashion designers develop their own lines of jewellery.

From HT Brunch, October 15, 2017

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First Published: Oct 15, 2017 00:06 IST