Tag: gold

The Gold Rush

The wedding season is in full swing, and one trend we can never get enough of in India is that of gold jewelry. Traditionally, the jewelry in the South of Indiausually consisted of solid gold styles with intricate design details and hangings linked together to create a look, which while ornate and grand, is at the same time quite delicate and full of movement. Bengali jewelry as well has a lot of solid gold pieces, usually round medallions that are held together with gold chains and are in some cases embellished lightly with pearls or other precious stones.

Towards the North of the country precious stone embellishments and Jarau styles are more popular but even there many people prefer to buy solid gold pieces as they have a certain old school charm to them. When seen in terms of an investment, gold jewelry has its advantages as well.

The resale value of piece of jewelry is significantly higher if it does not have any stone embellishments in it.  Therefore it is often considered a wiser investment especially in terms of being given as part of a dowry.

However keeping that aside, more and more people are wearing gold plated jewelry and trendier styles especially in terms of making a personal style statement these days. Even internationally, chunky gold neckpieces, cuffs and earrings are all the rage. Fashion houses such as Gucci and Roberto Cavalli have showcased collections containing glamorous eighties inspired gold jewelry, which brings to mind an image of the every glamorous Joan Collins from the television series “Dynasty”.

There are multiple ways to sport this trend. You can go the traditional route and wear a solid gold set of jewelry to add a royal charm to your outfit. Teaming chunky indo-western pieces with a plain or embellished sari also creates an instantly classy and chic appeal, helping you stand out in a crowd. Multiple pieces can be layered to create a rich and more opulent feel, like the subject of a Raja Ravi Verma painting. As opposed to that you can go for a subtler look by wearing one striking statement piece and keeping the rest of your makeup and jewelry minimalistic. My personal favorite way of wearing this trend is to wear solid gold pieces apart from the typical necklace or earring. Haathphools, naths, anklets and headpieces are all a great way to sport solid gold pieces, and they don’t necessarily have to be pure gold as well. More and more designers are coming up with trendy styles in gold plating which give a rich and expensive look without costing the earth.

We at Pookari have many designers showcasing collections with solid gold pieces.  Preeti Mohan and Divya Chugh’s jewelry have beautiful traditional styles, which will add panache to any ensemble you choose to wear. To go a more modern route, adorn yourself in exquisite and bold warrior inspired chunky gold pieces by Malleka. For a more delicate look, drape yourself with a waterfall gold chain necklace by Raya. However you choose to wear it, keep in mind that the solid gold jewelry trend is must to add to your collection in 2016.

One can say that Onam is the beginning of the festive season in south India. Most people associate Oname with elaborate pookolams (flower rangolis ) and sadya (the traditional feast). My favourite memory of Onam is a day-long celebration ending with a delicious sadya at 5.00 p.m.

Of course, for most of us, a festival means time to dress up. And Onam is unique when it comes to clothes. No other festival in India has its own colour.

The colours of Onam — ivory and gold — are derived from the kasavu sari and look wonderful on all skin tones. A more contemporary way to dress up this Onam would be to retain the colour palette and experiment with fabrics and accessories.

If you’re a fan of the sari look, go for a soft ivory Chanderi with a gold border instead of a traditional Kerala cotton sari. Even better would be an ivory Chanderi with a Ganga-Jamuna border or a gold-and-silver border. Two tones are trending so this is your chance to shine.

The blouse that goes with a Kerala sari needs a special mention. A decade ago, most women wore a red or a green blouse with the kasavu sari. But, now, the blouse is the mainstay of the look. What I love about the kasavu sari is the different looks you can create by just changing the blouse. Scout for a variety of fabrics to make a set of perfect blouses for different occasions. The morning look can be a simple geometrical patterned blouse and, in the evening, the same sari can be paired with a brocade blouse with lots of embroidery.

Time for a temple visit? Pair the kasavu with an arakku (deep red) kalamkari blouse. The traditionalannapakshi pattern will set off the plain sari. Patchwork blouses are also very fashionable now. You can mix and match vintage brocades with Mangalgiris to create unique blouses.

Those who are more comfortable in a salwar-kameez can experiment with an ivory anarkali and a gold Chanderi hand-embroidered dupatta . The latter accentuates the entire ensemble. If you want to give the salwar a modern twist, wear it with palazzos and a dupatta . For a formal look, you could wear the top over a pair of coloured cigarette pants in gold Tussar. For a more fun look, wear an ivory tunic with a gold border over a crushed silk full-length skirt embellished with tiny pom-poms at the bottom.

Accessories are very important to get the Onam look right. Traditionally, women wear gold jewellery but you can be trendy and experiment. Those wearing the anarkali can wear big bold gold-dipped jhumkasand dainty pearls. But keep the necklace simple and elegant. Another way is to pair the salwar-kameez with a beautiful gold-dipped cuff and a pair of simple earrings. Or make heads turn by wearing an edgy statement necklace with your Kerala sari. A finishing touch is a strand of fragrant jasmine flowers in your hair.

Onam has also inspired film fashion. In movies like Aisha and Dil Se , Sonam Kapoor and Preity Zinta looked stunning in ivory saris and gold-toned jewellery.

-ShriVyshnavi Annush for The Hindu MetroPlus on 27th August 2015


Traditional Jewellery of Tamilnadu
Jewellery has always enjoyed a prominent mention in ancient Tamil literature. The five great Tamil epics of the Sangam period (3rd to 4th century BC ) mention the different types of traditional jewellery of Tamilnadu. It is indeed a pleasant surprise that most of the ornaments that have been mentioned in the ancient epics are still in existence today after many centuries. It is a clear sign that the women of Tamilnadu have had a lasting love affair with their jewellery and therefore managed to preserve most of the styles of the Sangam era. An important reason could be the dance of our state, Bharathanatyam, through which these precious styles of jewellery have been showcased and therefore have still managed to be around. Another reason for this could be that these timeless ornaments were handed over the generations and that is why they have stood the test of time. I think its a bit of both!
Chettinadu is a region in the Sivagangai district of southern Tamilnadu famous for its jewellery. The adigai is a very typical South Indian piece of jewellery typical of the Chettinadu region. It is  is a necklace that is worn close to the neck accentuating it. It is made of gold and red rubies otherwise known as kempu stones. Another common style of the adigai is the single stone diamond adigai. An adigai worn with your kancheevarams is the ultimate regal fashion statement. If you’re a South Indian woman worth her salt you definitely must own an adigai.
Contemporary fine jewellery from designer houses like Chopard and Bulgari are inspired by Mother Nature. The maangamalai and the kizhikaasu malai were no different. The mango fruit symbolizes fertility and the maangamalai was a must have piece of jewellery in Tamil families. It is a long necklace made of small gold mangoes threaded together on a chain with nagasau work on them. Nagasu work is a special form of intricate craftsmanship on gold jewellery found only in the south of India. The South Indian nagasu craftsmen are sought after by jewellery retailers from all over India for their beautiful handiwork on gold jewellery.
The kizhikaasu malai is an authentic Chettinadu necklace. It is a statement piece made with gold coins and a parrot on top of each of the coins. In the olden days, the women of the erstwhile families of Chettinadu had the goddess Lakshmi embossed on the front side of the coins. It was considered auspicious to wear the goddess of wealth and the popular belief still continues. Their family emblem, usually their fort, was embossed on the reverse side of the coins. One can order a kizhikaasu malai with the jewellery craftsmen of Chettinadu and you will find that even today an illustration of a fort is embossed on the reverse of the coins.
The odiyanam or the hip belt is a beautiful ornament that flatters the woman wearing it. It is made of gold and usually has goddess Lakshmi, parrots, peacocks and serpents (nagar) carved on it using the nagasu technique. Today in more modern designs you can find diamonds embellishing the front part of the hip belt called the mogapu. Personally I favour the old fashioned nagasu odiyanam. It is definitely a thing of beauty to treasure and hand it down to your daughters.
Popular earrings of Tamilnadu are the jimikis and the magara kuzhai. The jimikis are still favourites of the women of the South. You can choose between the big gundu gold jimiki or the diamond studded one. The magara kuzhai is a fish shaped earring studded with red rubies and pearls. Mookuthi and Besari are nose studs. They are usually studded with rubies and pearls or diamonds. You’ll find the women in the southern parts of Tamilnadu still wearing them on a regular basis.
The craftsmen of Chettinadu still hand make these precious pieces of jewellery. Since they are handcrafted there are bound to be imperfections. These imperfections are what makes these ornaments special, since no two pieces of jewellery can be the exact same. This is exactly why these pieces of jewellery are a pleasure to covet and own. Cherish and enjoy wearing these vintage treasures that have been handed down to you with your kancheevaram sarees.

-ShriVyshnavi Annush

Shop now for beautiful jimkis (or jhumkas) by Deepa Sethi on www.pookaari.com

Whats hot for the party season?
Its that time of the year when everyday there is a party to go to. Each one of us is in a celebratory mood, eager to meet our friends and family who have come home for the holidays from near and far.The hottest trends at the moment are fringes and shimmer. Shimmer is ubiquitous for dinner parties. Its glamorous and brings out the diva in you. A long gold lame maxi dress is sure to make you feel like a showstopper in a fashion show. Tall women look best in a maxi. If you’re the petite type of woman, the best type of dress to wear is a short one that reaches until just above your knees. Accessorize it with a gold colored belt at your waist and voila, you have upped your style quotient. To complete the look, wear a pair of glittering gold stilletos. It is the party season after all, so be bold and own your style.On the contrary, if you’re the kind of woman who likes to play it safe but would also like to be fashionable, carry a glittering metallic evening bag in gold or silver. For a more traditional occasion, one can always wear a chiffon sari and pair it with a sequinned blouse. The blouse lends instant character to the otherwise plain sari and will dress up the whole outfit.
Now lets talk about the other trend on the runway – the fringe. There is something about the fringe look that shouts casual luxury! The easiest way to own the fringe look is to flaunt it with accessories. A sling bag with fringe detail is the “in” thing and the easiest way to stay trendy. The brands that I really like are Zara and Rebecca Minkoff.
Another way to stay trendy, is to wear a pair of fringe gold colored earrings with your little black dress, popularly known as the LBD. Depending on the occassion, you could wear the earrings even with a lovely kancheepurarm sari. A mix of the traditional and contemporary will most definitely make people stop, take notice and compliment you. If you’d like to be a tad bit bolder, experiment with fringe detailed shoes. The exquisitely detailed and dramatic fringe detailing on your pair of stilettos is sure to draw all eyes to your feet. Schutz and Chloe are well known luxury brands for their fringed stilettos.Its okay once in a while to splurge on shoes. A word of caution, these stilettos are definitely not for the faint hearted.
My favourite way to flaunt the fringe look, is to wear a leather jacket with fringe trimmings over my favorite pair of blue denims and boots. It keeps me comfortable and stylish at the same time. A popular belief is that in order to keep up with the latest fashion trends one has to sacrifice comfort. I disagree! Its picking what works for you and your body type that makes you truly stylish.

– ShriVyshnavi Annush for the Hindu MetroPlus, December 26th 2014