Padmavat Movie: The Jewellery Story

After weeks of controversy, the newly named Padmavat was finally released last week. The trailer of the much-awaited Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus was released Diwali 2017 and since then, Deepika Padukone’s majestic look in the film has left everyone in awe. The trailer proved that Bansali has once again conjured magic with the perfect cast and its magnificent look.

Deepika’s arole of Rani Padmavati, a legendary Hindu Rajput queen, who committed jauhar (self-immolation) to protect her honour from Alauddin Khilji, the Turkic ruler who is desperate to see her beauty first hand and goes to war for the privilege.

Deepika, looks like the archetypal Rajasthani queen adorned in stunningly intricate outfits and heritage jewellery. To achieve such looks took months of work from the specialist designers to recreate the beauty of the Rajputana era back to life.

Queeta Rawat, design manager from Tanishq Jewellers who are responsible for the stunning creations, reveals how they came up with the jewellery design and also walks us through the making process.
She shares as many as 200 craftsmen worked for 600 days moulding 400 kilos of gold to make the exotic ornaments that Deepika wore in the film. However, the designer had to do an extensive research before finalising the jewellery designs to enure an authentic portrayal of the historical period.

A video, released by Tanishq Jewellery based in Delhi, gives us a glimpse of the behind the scenes making of the jewellery and it’s magnificence and craftsmanship gives a great insight in to the work involved to create such stunning pieces. It is truly the epitome of handmade jewellery.

A further Q&A with the jewellery designer can be seen below

Jewellery aside, Deepika’s and fellow actors’ attire has been designed by Delhi-based designers Rimple and Harpreet Narula. We had the privilege of meeting the designers when they visited London last year for a fashion show which showcased their collection inspired by the movie.

The fashion is opulent and rich and many traditional techniques were used including zardosi and historical motifs incorporated within the embroidery such as palace windows, arches and jharokhas. The important odhnis (veils) of the time have been styled in conventional ways and which are still prevalent in the Mewar belt of Rajasthan.

Tanishq Jewellers has done absolutely stunning job in recreating pieces from a bygone era. The pieces are just stunning and the detail left us inspired. The task was made more mammoth we expect due to the amount of pieces required to create such a royal aesthetic.
Deepika can be seen wearing up to three necklaces, huge earrings and additional accessories for the head and hands all in one look. But one thing is for sure, Deepika carries her looks off with such presence and beauty and captures the viewers attention.

It is clear that a lot work has gone in to ensuring Deepika creates a real impact every time she is on screen, and there is little doubt that brides-to-be will use these looks as inspiration when creating their bridal looks.
Certainly, style and design elements can be incorporated in to a bridal look, but you would have to be a pretty confident to want to recreate this look as whole as there is a WHOLE lot of look happening!

The following interview with Tanishq provides insight into the jewellery design process:

Could you explain the design process involved in the creation of the collection?
Our design team had multiple rounds of discussions with the director — Bhansali, to get his vision right. After several rounds of brainstorming over intricate details — including naths (nose rings), bangles, chokers, necklaces, finger rings, arsi finger rings, armlets, jhumkis, earrings, septum naths, and borlas — the jewellery specific to each character was defined. Padmavati was a high energy, high-intensity project.

Points of reference for the collection.
The story of Padmavati is from the 12-13th Century and the lifestyle of that era was recorded in the form of temples, sculptures, paintings and poems. Due to various invasions/wars and natural calamities, very few such records have survived. To stay true to that era, we visited temples, museums and read through history books and old jewellery books. Few well-known and established families of Rajasthan also showcased their private jewellery collection.

We also read about the Turkish empire and their jewellery. Since the Khalji dynasty entered India via Afghanistan, we researched upon Afghani jewellery and culture as well. Since Queen Padmavati was a Sinhala princess, we also studied the Southern culture and jewellery and the Buddhist influence in

What are the types of detailing and techniques that have gone into its making?

We have mostly used gold as the base metal for the jewellery. Silver has been used for Afghani and Turkish Jewellery. Miniature paintings and stone inlay work in a combination of Kundan setting has given this line of jewellery a very unique, old world charm. In terms of gold technique, we have used a lot of age-old traditional sheet work with reva, wire, partaj, chitai with meenakari work. We have also revived old styles such as moti ki gheri where thousands of tiny pearl piroi called moti ghungris are used to create the ornament.

Different characters, themes and occasions demand different types of jewellery. Could you elucidate the different lines that were created?
For the Rajputs (Deepika and Shahid) the jewellery was inspired from Rajput Kundan Jewellery. This was an era where polki, gemstones such as emerald, rubies and pearls were considered valuable and hence you will see lots of gemstone oriented Kundan jewellery. This is very different from the current all white polki Kundan jewellery trend.
We have also used lots of Basra pearls and created a differentiated style of the traditional Rajasthani aad (choker), motijaal earrings and double jhumkis for Rani Padmavati. For Padmavati as the Sinhala princess, her jewellery is minimalistic but has heavy gold workmanship.Gemstones like pearls and corals and turquoise were used to depict the Sinhala royal family.
For Rawal Ratan Singh (Shahid’s character) we created jewellery with big gemstones being the focal point.
Alauddin Khilji’s jewellery is inspired mainly by the jewellery worn by warriors of Turkey and Afghanistan. Mehru (Aditi Rao Hydari’s character) being a princess, we took inspiration from Turkish royal jewellery.

Most notable pieces.
An ornate necklace that weighs about 250 grams is worn by Deepika in one of the most iconic scenes in the movie. Other notable pieces include an aad — a traditional necklace that is styled in the form of a choker. For the Padmavati collection, Tanishq’s design team has also attempted a mean feat by designing and creating a triple borla.



Blog by Shalini Gupta-Patel, founder Red Dot Jewels

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