Sunita Shekhawat puts together a bejewelled bridal lookbook
Sunita Shekhawat has over 25 years of experience in bedecking ladies in her lovely kundan-meena pieces. In the wake of the pandemic, the questions she is asking today’s brides have also changed. In this detailed chat with The Telegraph, she tells what’s changed, the current trends and how women should increasingly buy their wedding jewellery in future.
What would be your first words of advice for any bride-to-be when it comes to jewellery?
Jewellery makes a woman complete and plays a very important part in completing the bride’s look on her big day. I always tell my brides to prioritise their personal style more than the social media trends around them. The wedding day is the biggest day of their lives, and every element of the wedding should be a representation of the couple itself. When in doubt, a less-is-more approach is always best. Stick to a few key and classic pieces.
What are the first questions you would ask her?
My first question has to be how the bride envisions herself on her special day. It is essential to get to know the bride’s likes and dislikes first. It is also very important to know if your bride has an inclination towards a particular colour and which hue would reflect the best on her personality. Getting to know your client is the first step towards building a lasting relationship. Choosing the right jewellery is a task in itself. Realising what the client needs and expects out of us is the ultimate goal for us.
Have the questions changed in the pandemic?
Since the buying pattern has changed, our questions for our clients have also had their own journey. Our clients are now investing in more minimalistic designs. They are looking for more wearable pieces which can be worn for multiple occasions. We try to understand the bride’s mindset and her expectations. If it is an intimate wedding, we try to suggest her minimal jewellery pieces that add to her personality rather than going overboard.
Engagement: Since it’s usually the first big function, I suggest that the bride dons a beautiful pair of statement earrings. To complete the look she can add a finely-crafted maangtika.
Mehndi: For the Mehndi function, you can wear light and delicate jewellery pieces according to your dress. Go for minimalist jewellery with mehndi on the hands, because you might end up ruining your mehndi. So avoid hand accessories. The bride can accentuate her look by wearing a unique mathapatti (hair accessory).
Sangeet: If you are performing on stage, try wearing something eye-catching and sparkling. The bride should be absolutely hassle-free on her Sangeet. Try to wear an exclusive hand jewellery piece, like an exquisite haathphool, which people can also admire when you dance on stage.
Wedding: The wedding day look should be quintessentially traditional. Always prioritise your personal style more than the trending styles. Jewellery should always be for the wearer’s pleasure, so try to wear a beautiful pajebh, pair of toe rings. Your wedding jewellery should make you feel happy and elated on your most special day of your life.
Reception: After having attended many functions, give yourself a little breather by completing your look with a stunning pair of delicate studs. You can wear clip-on studs with an exclusive neckpiece.
What would you suggest for a minimal bride?
Versatile jewellery is the way to go this year. We do a lot of detachable, reversible jewellery which can be worn in different ways for various occasions. Ideal for a modern-day bride, our detachable earrings are suitable for multiple occasions. The need for versatility has given rise to transformable jewellery. One can invest in multipurpose jewellery such as a haathphool, which can be worn as a bracelet and a choker as well.
Another trend we have seen is how less is more. Women are now looking for more minimalistic jewellery. The idea is to invest in fine jewellery that is minimal and stands out.
For the brides looking for heirloom jewellery that is a reflection of our Indian heritage, our statement heirloom open-setting earrings enhanced with gold, diamonds and polkis stand out and epitomise the balance between modern yet traditional aesthetics, making it a must-have classic jewel piece from the brand.
What are great pieces to invest in, styles that you can sport post-wedding too?
For the upcoming wedding season, we have designed more wearable pieces that are reversible and detachable as well. Jewellery pieces with such techniques are most popular as the same piece can be worn and styled in different ways for different occasions. For example, a maangtika which is generally worn on the wedding day can be converted to a pendant.
What’s the allure of kundan-meena when it comes to wedding jewellery?
Kundan-meena jewellery is a celebration of nostalgia. Polki jewellery has a strong resonance with our Indian heritage, brides seek joy in celebrating the pieces crafted in India. Kundan-meena jewellery always takes us back to the yesteryear times. It has got a majestic feeling around it, which has so much significance that immediately makes the bride fall in love with it.
Polki can be paired and combined in many different ways to really showcase your personality. Whether you decide to go minimal or all out, there’s a polki jewellery design to match your style. Polki jewellery’s versatility has made it a staple in many brides’ jewellery collections. It has a beautiful tone of authentic gold that goes really well with all Indian couture, whether it’s zardozi, gotta patti or sequin work. There is something so magical about polki jewellery that it blends in beautifully with every Indian skin tone. The younger generation in India still likes to celebrate our roots and that’s why uncut diamond jewellery is a go-to choice for Indian brides.Our earrings can be easily styled as ear clips, jhumkas, or with the kanauti giving three different experimental looks. One might want to carry these statement iconic jhumkas, which are light but stand out well when paired with any attire.
What’s been the major game changer in how women buy their wedding jewellery now?
We have seen a shift in the client’s preferences when it comes to buying their wedding jewellery. People are willing to invest in traditional heirloom pieces, which can be a family pass-down to the younger generations. They want to invest in timeless pieces that are more functional and wearable.
Who are your favourite Bollywood brides who have worn your creations over the years?
This is a tough question! I absolutely love curating looks for all my brides. I always try creating a look that speaks about the bride’s personality in the most subtle way. The most recent one of our many cherished looks was Bollywood actress Kajal Aggarwal’s wedding look. She made a style statement with her bridal look. We completed her wedding look with a statement mathapatti and a beautiful waist belt. She looked absolutely stunning.
What would you like to see change in how wedding jewellery is perceived in India?
Today’s consumer is an empowered consumer. Women should buy jewellery to reward themselves, not to impress anyone else and this will lead to the rise in self-gifting. This will eventually also lead to a major market shift, which will give rise to multipurpose and personalised jewellery that allows our clients to tell a story about herself in a more specific way. Our jewellery captures how today’s consumer feels and expresses their journey.