The buzz around Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi refuses to die down. If it isn’t Kangana Ranaut’s spine-chilling performance, it’s her regal look. Laden in gold from head to toe, she looks every bit the Jhansi Ki Rani. Whether it’s the elegant Kolhapuri saaj, traditional nath or simple dholki necklace, she’s wearing them all with equal aplomb. No wonder her collection has given many women jewellery goals. After all, it’s the wedding season and there are outfits and accessories to be planned. And who can deny that period jewellery has a timeless charm of its own? So why not get inspired by Kangana and Bollywood’s other leading ladies to up your bling quotient? Here’s a look at some Bollywood period dramas whose actors (and their jewellery) turned out to be trendsetters.
The excitement around Padmaavat was as much about DeepVeer as Deepika Padukone’s look. Her jewellery showcased the best of traditional Rajasthani ornaments and the finest craftsmanship. Deepika was decked in multi-layered gold necklaces, elegant borlas, traditional bangles and chokers encrusted with precious stones. Her jewellery showed off varied styles such as meenakari, jadau, kundan and miniature paintings. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for his detail to attention and it shows in Rani Padmavati’s attire. Not only did Padmaavat become one of 2018’s biggest hits, Deepika’s jewels also became a trendsetter in bridal jewellery.
Priyanka Chopra played (and looked) the part of a Maharashtrian royal to perfection in Bajirao Mastani. She showed off the finest, traditional jewellery – from necklaces such as vajratiks and surya haars to nose rings like the brahmani nath. On the other hand, Mughal jewellery adorned Deepika, who played Mastani, the part Hindu-part Muslim Rajput princess. A variety of chokers, haathphools, jhoomars and naths were made using uncut diamonds, Basra pearls and antique stones. Bajirao Mastani wowed not just movie audiences, but jewellery lovers as well.
How much jewellery is too much? This question clearly didn’t apply to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in this magnum opus. The handcrafted ornaments she and Hrithik Roshan wore were all made of pure gold – almost 300kgs of it! They blended Mughal and Rajasthani designs (including meenakari and kundan) and showcased gems such as emeralds and rubies. The exquisite pieces Aishwarya wore included a bridal set that weighed 3.5kgs, chunky jadau chokers and heavy waistbands. ‘The bigger the better’ seems to have been the brief for Jodhaa Akbar’s jewellery designers!
Aishwarya played the role of the gifted courtesan to the hilt. But it wasn’t just her acting chops that won over audiences. Her jewellery and outfits were on point. She wore stunning navratna necklaces, chokers, earrings, anklets and rings. Uncut diamonds and pearls jostled for attention with other precious stones such as rubies and emeralds. Most of her ornaments were made in the Lucknow meenakari style, which predominantly uses blue and green enamel. Umrao Jaan didn’t do well at the box office, but Aishwarya’s meenakari jewellery was definitely a hit.