The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Designs on Paro & Binodini
- Ash adornments travel far and wide, set jewellery trends

Aishwarya Rai isn’t one of the most sought after models for nothing. Everything she touches seems to turn to gold. First, Paro’s precious adornments ruled the most-wanted list. Now, the gold-plated copper ornaments Binodini borrows and bedecks herself in one memorable sequence, is set to stun and sell this Puja, from Shyambazar to San Francisco.

Anjali Jewellers, which designed the jewellery worn by Binodini (Aishwarya) and Ashalata (Raima Sen) in Rituparno Ghosh’s Chokher Bali, is taking the collection to the “Bay Area’s biggest puja”, hosted by Prabasi, a Bengali association in the US.

“There is a lot of hype surrounding the film, and the association is also screening it on Dashami,” explains Anannya Chowdhury, director, Anjali Jewellers. To cash in on the hype, the ornaments will all be on show. While Chowdhury hopes for orders, the exposure is enough to merit the brand-building exercise.

The Devdas spotlight on traditional styles has significantly affected sales. “We have a separate display of Devdas-inspired jewellery,” says Chowdhury, who is also designing Raveena Tandon’s collection in Sahara’s Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam. But if last year’s ad campaigns had focussed on Devdas, this year, it will be Chokher Bali. “Everyday, people take movie stars as their style icons. The investment is definitely worth it,” insists Chowdhury.

The B.C. Sen experience backs this up. Devdas may still be the “fad” of the moment, but the most memorable request was inspired by Hollywood. “We had a lot of clients looking for a copy of the blue sapphire (Heart of the Ocean) Kate Winslet wore in Titanic,” recounts a B.C. Sen spokesperson.

The trend can be traced back to Madhuri Dixit’s jewels in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, and to television as well, where the soaps make the loudest fashion statements. “People take the style and improvise on them to match their wardrobe and their budget,” the spokesperson adds. But the “reactive” craze only occurs when the public eye becomes “fixated” on a particular star.

The maang-tika (tikli) and bangles, the opor haath and chokers from Devdas have been all the rage at A. Sirkar. “We have had the most orders for the maang-tika, which a lot of girls are wearing, not only with saris, but also as the only accompanying jewellery with salwar-kameezes,” explains designer Brinda Ganguly Sirkar. It was Kajol, feels Sirkar, who was a style symbol for many Bengali girls, starting from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

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