The Unparalleled Beauty Of Traditional Jewellery

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It’s not the first time I am talking about Ikat or my love for the fabric. I think by now, I have pretty much become the ambassador (for the lack of a better word), for the the fabric. The fabric has been living, breathing and talking to me all through my childhood. From my mothers closet, the upholstery at home to the musuems I visited as a teenager.

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While I have championed my love for textiles, it only occured to me now how much there is to explore when it comes to traditional Indian jewellery. Be it tribal, silver or Afghani jewellery, traditional Rajasthani jewellery encrusted with pearls and polki diamonds. I never knew how easily they could transform an outfit! This is my ode to traditional Indian jewellery without letting it look ‘contemporary’.

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My mother has never been a big on trends or even to say it simply, liked playing dress up. She reasons it out to two things – initially, she didn’t have enough money to buy what she wanted to and secondly, for her fashion was about functionality more than form. Comfort over couture-like outfits and simplicity over sequins. So my mother’s jewellery box is the best and worst I have seen, it’s a tiny box of trinkets that she’s been collecting over 50 years and it’s still, every bit fascinating.

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On usual day, I’d style this with a pair of sunglasses and a big chunky ring. But I thought, this time around, I could actually let the Indianness and the South Indian-ness of this outfit to shine through and shine bright.

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So I paired it with my mother’s vintage pearl necklace, a pair of pearl earrings, a big mirror ring and a kundan earring- worn as a broach. To add to the desi vibe, I added a bindi and added that to my forehead. ‘You look so pretty, but the look is really traditional,’ said Prerna, the minute she saw me in this!

Which is when and why I thought, why can’t we look traditional? Do we¬†always need to contemporarise the traditional? Is traditional boring? Isn’t modern more run of the mill? While I understand and agree with the entire modernising Indian textiles, jewellery and more, for it to appeal a global audience. I feel sometimes, the trick would be to fuse what we have with what we have. By that, I mean wear a Pochampally with a Polki, a Kutchi dress with a Bandhini sari. Mix it with elements from your own country! Be it the palm trees, the Kerala boat rides or the Ganga ghats of Benaras. There’s plenty and more ‘traditional’ to fuse it with.

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