The rich legacy

Amrita Prasad
Sunday, 15 October 2017

Besides adorning the characters, the jewellery of Padmavati aims to bring back the beauty and heritage of Rajasthani jewellery. Here’s a peek

Ever since the first look followed by the trailer of the much-awaited Padmavati was revealed, everything about the film, from the actors’ makeovers to their grand costumes, sets, etc has floored us. The jewellery sported by each character has also garnered a lot of attention.

The Padmavati collection is a breathtaking assortment of handcrafted jewellery boasting intricate craftsmanship. Tanishq, the jewellery brand, collaborated with filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali to recreate his vision of the era when Rani Padmavati’s tales of a strong personality and exceptional beauty echoed across the land of Rajasthan. The design team used gold, silver, pearl, opal, topaz, blue sapphire, yellow sapphire, jade, emerald and kundan jewellery, to bring alive the beauty of royal jewellery. Miniature paintings, stone inlay work and kundan setting have given this line of jewellery a very unique, old world charm.

Around 200 karigars worked for 600 days to create some of the most iconic pieces that will be showcased in the movie and are already available at the jewellery brand’s stores. Each piece of jewellery worn in the movie plays a significant role in some of the most crucial scenes such as the celebration of Diwali, Holi, Ghoomer and the Jauhar scenes. Queeta Rawat, designer manager, North, Tanishq, tells us more about the collection:   

What kind of study and research was required to visualise the designs?
The story of Padmavati dates back to 12th or 13th century. Due to various invasions/ wars and natural calamities, very few records have survived. We visited temples, museums, monuments and also read many history  and old jewellery books, which gave us an idea about the history of Rajasthan and the Rajput clans. Few old Rajasthani families let us into their homes and showcased their private jewellery collection. Some inspiration was taken from old photographs and paintings too.

Since the Khilji dynasty of Turkish origin entered India via Afghanistan, we researched upon both Turkish and Afghani jewellery and culture. We also keenly studied the costume, jewellery, lifestyle and other cultural /traditional nuances that would differentiate one clan from the other.

Since Padmavati was a Sinhala princess (from Sri Lanka), we also studied the Southern culture and jewellery, and the Buddhism influence in that era. For the Rajputs (Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapur) the jewellery was inspired from Rajput kundan jewellery. In that era, more than diamond, polki gemstones such as emerald, rubies and pearls were considered valuable and hence you will see a lot of gemstones oriented-kundan jewellery in the film. We have also used a lot of Basra pearls which were also popular during that era.
 How were the designs different and unique for each character?
For Rani Padmavati, who was a style icon, we created a very differentiated style of the traditional Rajasthani aad (necklace), full motijaal earrings, double jhumkis, etc. To show Deepika as a Sinhala princess, we styled her jewellery as minimalistic but with heavy gold workmanship. Nature and water gemstones like pearls and corals and turquoise were used for Sinhala royal family. For Rawal Ratan Singh (Shahid’s character), we created jewellery with big gemstones as a focal point and created more masculine shapes to give him the grandeur worthy of a king. Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer) jewellery is inspired mainly from the jewellery worn by warriors of Turkey and Afghanistan.
For Sanjay Leela Bhansali everything is a visual extravaganza. How was the experience of working with him?
The most challenging aspect was to match the filmmaker’s vision for the jewellery and the duration in which we had to create them. The experience was exhilarating and pushed us beyond our limits.
What are the highlights of Deepika’s jewellery?
Every piece of jewellery worn by Deepika/ Padmavati includes all the pieces that is worn by a traditional Rajput bride. For her, we created a memand — an ornament that is worn by married Rajput women on top of the head along with the traditional borla. To showcase her roots as a Sinhala princess she can be seen wearing a septum nose ring along with the nath. She is also seen wearing heavily embellished nose rings which are quintessentially Rajasthani. Each mathapatti was very different from the other. Earrings were done in a very unique style like big jhumkis, side jhumkis and motijaal earrings. The traditional bangles called gokhru were crafted in gold and embellished with pearls. She also wears a lot of traditional bridal necklaces called aad, gulaband, rani haar, satlada, timaniya, etc.

Isn’t the collection also an effort to revive the dying art of Rajashani jewellery and miniature paintings?
We always look at reviving dying art forms. Owing to various factors, some of these art forms are slowly dying. But, with this movie, we identified an opportunity to revive the beautiful craft of Rajasthani jewellery. We are confident that the Padmavati collection will bring back the glory of craftsmanship and Rajasthani jewellery. 

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