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Indian jewelry trends have always taken inspiration from Hindi cinema; in the same way that Hollywood films inspire looks on the runway in Western countries, Bollywood has always been a major influence when it comes to shaping Indian fashion – including jewelry trends.
So, how has Bollywood influenced the wearing style of gold chains? With a look back at some of Bollywood’s most iconic and inspired films, we’re going to answer this question in the following blog. Let’s get started!
Gold chains in Bollywood cinema: from the 1960s to the 20s
The 1960s was a period of great change in Indian cinema, and this change can be seen reflected in the jewelry choices made by the stars and film producers of the time. For example, when it comes to men’s style, actors such as Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, and Amitabh Bachchan could all be seen wearing thick gold chains with oversized pendants onscreen – a look that became known as the “Amar Akbar Anthony” once it trickled into mainstream wear.
Fast forward to modern-day Bollywood actors and actresses, and we can see that while gold chains are still popular, many street styles and red carpet looks have become much more delicate and subtle over time. Today’s Bollywood celebrities often opt for thinner chains with smaller pendants or no pendant at all; and even mangalsutra chain designs have become more practical and subtle. However, what hasn’t changed is Indian cinema’s penchant for luxurious gold pieces: chains in modern Bollywood films – and on the red carpet – are most often crafted from yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, and range from simple to intricate designs.
However, while modern Bollywood celebrities might prefer to rock more understated jewelry looks in public, certain modern Bollywood films continue to embrace full-on traditional jewelry ensembles. For example, let’s take a look at the 2018 film Padmavati. With actress Deepika Padukone decorated in endless layers of traditional period jewelry, many Indian women – and especially Indian brides – created their own elaborate bridal jewelry by taking inspiration from her portrayal of Queen Padmavati. Similar jewelry trends followed the release of the film Ram Leela, as well as Paheli in 2005 and Veere Di Wedding in 2018.
What do gold chains represent in India?
It’s important not to gloss over the fact that Indian jewelry isn’t simply decorative; many gold chains – such as Mangalsutra – hold important cultural and religious symbolism, which is why Bollywood jewelry trends can have such a powerful influence. Historically, gold chains have been given as gifts to symbolize ties of love, loyalty and friendship, while some pieces are passed down through generations – giving them even greater sentimental value.
In modern day India, gold chains remain popular due to their versatility; worn alone or with additional chains or pendants for a layered look, they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. As such, Bollywood trends continue to inspire customers looking for stylish and timeless jewelry pieces that represent their culture – whether it’s an intricately designed Mangalsutra or a simple gold chain for everyday wear.
The influence of Bollywood on Indian jewelry trends today
While gold chain styles may change and evolve over time, what’s clear is that Indian cinema has had a hugely influential impact on the wearing style of gold chains over the years. While gold chains remain popular amongst Bollywood stars as a luxurious accessory, they’re equally popular amongst everyday Indian women, whether paired with sarees or other traditional garments or worn to work alongside a conservative suit.
Incorporating Bollywood style into your jewelry collection
If you want to channel your favorite Bollywood stars when it comes to your jewelry choices, all you need to do is go bolder, bigger, and more daring than ever before. While some more modern Indian films now tone down the presence of elaborate jewelry, modern classics such as Jodhaa Akbar, Padmavat, Ram Leela and Baahubali show us that these traditional pieces still have a role to play in modern India. From bold statement earrings (a là Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela) to layered gold chokers adorned with gemstones (a là Aishwarya in Devdas) there is no shortage of ways for you to incorporate a little Bollywood glamor into your own wardrobe.
Don’t forget that when selecting gold chains, never undermine the importance of quality; opting for a higher karat purity is the best way to truly invest in a gold chain necklace. 22k gold chains are the best if you’re looking for a blend between durability and the yellow-hued aesthetic appeal of pure gold; 22k gold chains contain around 91% pure gold, and the remaining 9% is made up of alloyed metals that strengthen the necklace and make it less susceptible to tarnishing and bending.
Bollywood and gold chain necklaces: a lasting impact
Overall, Bollywood has had a profound and lasting impact on the wearing style of gold chains in India, and having inspired Indian fashion trends for decades, the influence of the big screen doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Even as our hyper-connected world means that global cinema plays a large role in influencing fashion, India’s Bollywood stars continue to pave the way in shaping jewelry styles.
From Sanjeev Kumar’s vintage Amar Akbar Anthony look to Deepika Padukone’s stunning portrayal of Rani Padmavati, Indian cinema can even be considered responsible for a renaissance in traditional and period Indian jewelry; whether it be Priyanka Chopra’s wedding necklace or Aishwarya Rai’s heavy gold bridal set, traditional and elaborate gold chains are here to stay.
Finally, make sure that whatever gold pendant you choose is made from high-quality materials. Don’t be tempted by inexpensive pieces – these won’t last and will usually tarnish quickly over time. Investing in good quality gold – such as a 22k gold pendant – will ensure that the recipient can enjoy their precious piece of jewelry for many years to come!
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