Dulhan diaries: These Tanya Maniktala looks showcase the need for adaptable antique jewellery

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How transitional and wearable can antique bridal jewellery be, especially in the intimate wedding spectrum? Stylists argue that a compact guest list only encourages brides to take bigger risks, what with fewer people to judge them and more opportunities to make a statement and be the Instagrammable ‘dulhan.’ The Nawabi passa, for instance, is making a comeback; more and more millennial brides are considering this heritage Muslim jewellery as a statement D-day pick. Tanya Maniktala, for instance, sported an antique pearl and gold nakshi passa by Neety Singh Jewellery for a recent bridal shoot. She pairs it with an Awadhi bridal ensemble and then again re-wears it with a Chikankari and Kaamdani cocktail lehenga by House of Kotwara. 

The point is, new-age brides are looking for this kind of effortless repeatability when it comes to shopping for wedding bling. One-time buys are not a thing anymore – brides still want to pass down their jewellery as an heirloom but not before making the most of it. Old world jewellery is trending for sure, but since versatility is key, it has brought about some major shifts in the design language of antique high jewellery that is being designed for brides. 

More and more jewellers are upgrading their vintage jewellery vis-a-vis stylisations to make them more functional and urbanist, so they can be re-worn easily. For instance, Maniktala wears an elaborate 150-year-old choker set on an antique velvet patti designed by Neety Singh Jewellery that boasts of some exceptional retro jadau handiwork; she pairs with a polki maangtika and another longer jadau necklace and a JJ Valaya sari but the choker is a statement pick and can be teamed with a heavy-duty couture gown as well, since classic homegrown karigari is trending big right now. Since brides are consistently looking for adaptable, efficient wedding jewellery that can be worn for longer hours, even sleek kundan nathnis or an emerald and ruby tukdi and haar worn by Maniktala have all been picked keeping the new-age memo in mind; so overly exaggerated and fussy traditional pieces are out and breathy, period-themed, maximalism is in.

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