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PAST FORWARD Antique jewellery has made a stylish comeback
PAST FORWARD Antique jewellery has made a stylish comeback

Antique jewellery with a contemporary twist is the rage now

Women are a bundle of contradictions, aren't they? Most workingwomen of today swear by lightweight jewellery. Leading jewellers, gauging the changing lifestyle, were quick to stock up on lightweight pieces in contemporary designs that wouldn't look out of place in corporate boardrooms. But this didn't signal the end of chunky jewellery. Though jewellery that was traditional and heavy was frowned upon for a while, young women found the lure of the yellow metal tough to resist. They succumbed, only to wear traditional jewellery for select occasions.

Old wine in a new bottle

Big is certainly better, but not when it comes with the habitual designs. After a lot of pondering over, jewellers found an answer in antique jewellery - from those inspired by the Victorian to the temple jewellery in India - with a contemporary twist of course. "The trends in jewellery resonate with the personality of women. Women today are comfortable wearing contemporary pieces for work and are in touch with their traditional self while attending a sangeet or a wedding. The shift is noticeable though; garish, in-your-face pieces are shunned. Antique jewels that have muted shades in varied palettes - mature shades like deep maroons, pinks and greens - are favoured," explains Sharath Sharma, design co-ordinator, Tanishq. Their collection, Colours of Royalty, draws liberally from the Victorian era. The inspiration doesn't stop at Victorian jewellery but extends to the essence of Victorian lifestyles - from architecture to fashion.On the other end of the spectrum are women who love the timeless Indian temple jewellery. "While young women preferred contemporary jewellery, they also kept enquiring about temple jewellery. This prompted us to think of designing antique pieces with some contemporary elements," says Gunasekhar, General Manager of Kirtilal Kalidas. Their antique collection draws inspiration from Indian jewellery of yore. "There is enough literature on temple jewellery of 19th and early 20th centuries in India. Most of those collections can be replicated with some changes. Intentionally we make a few changes, like replacing light coloured stones with the deeper ones. Many Hyderabadis still prefer deeper shades of rubies and emeralds to light shades of blue and pink stones," he adds.

Pricey affair?

All things antique don't come with abominable price tags. Jewellery stores in the city have antique jewellery that begin from Rs 3,000 and go up to a few lakh rupees. For those who want to test the waters by shelling out a moderate sum, there are pearl sets with an antique touch. Pearl necklaces come with pendants that have semi precious stones in muted shades embedded in oxidised silver. The price tags here starts from Rs 1,000 upwards. "In the last one year, the demand for pearl sets that have pendants with antique designs have gone up. Semi precious stones like turquoise, peridot and sandstones are used in pendants, earrings and bracelets," says Sanjay Kumar Gupta of Durga Jewellery.What's it that makes people loosen the purse strings? The fact that Victorian jewellery or ancient Indian jewellery can compliment any ethnic outfit and make a strong style statement.SANGEETHA DEVI K.

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