Get the lowdown on what Bollywood's stars will be wearing this season with Ajay Pandey, the chief executive of the jewellery company Gitanjali.
How would you describe the changing styles and tastes in Bollywood jewellery?
Jewellery in Bollywood has always been a very rich representation of India’s vast cultural heritage. Traditionally, Indian women love gold and diamond jewellery inspired by the “Royal Era” of Maharanis and Maharajas. One of our brands, Nizam, aims to fulfil that desire with a touch of ethnic culture and the symbol of Royal Gharana’s transcending into bridalwear and even regular wear. This collection is also appreciated by the Middle Eastern aficionados due to the rich designs incorporating rose and flat-cut stones, in addition to Polki (traditional, intricate jewellery sets) and Jadau handwork (highly embellished, statement pieces) by specialised artisans.
How have tastes evolved in recent years and what are the current trends in Bollywood?
Well, glamour has different styles depending on how you want to present it. As much as traditional jewellery is everlasting, so, too, modern Bollywood jewellery has a timeless quality. Contemporary Bollywood jewellery has a certain air of sophistication, using a combination of important, larger-sized diamonds and other precious stones. Modern styles can best be summed up as catering to international tastes – minimalistic designs that still make a strong statement.
Which stones and precious metals are currently in vogue?
Twenty-two-carat gold has always been in the highest demand, however plain diamond-studded jewellery in combination with emeralds, rubies and sapphires are also perennially popular. We’re always innovating and many of our new collections use tourmalines in shades of pink and green which have a distinct appeal. The use of new colours of enamel in traditional jewellery and more artistic creations, plus one-of-a-kind pieces, are also in vogue.
Considering its high price, is gold likely to be overtaken in popularity by other, less expensive precious metals for jewellery?
Absolutely impossible. Gold, today, remains one of the most influential and crucial economic factors, be it at an individual or at a country level, so we will always talk of gold reserves.
Name some examples of stars who have worn particular pieces from Gitanjali’s brands to high-profile events in recent months.
We have several film stars who endorse our brands such as the current reigning queen of Bollywood, Katrina Kaif, for Nakshatra and Priyanka Chopra for Asmi and Bipasha Basu for Gili. The actress Preity Zinta also wore an exclusive Gitanjali piece to the recent IIFA film Awards held in Singapore in June.
• For more information, go to www.gitanjaligroup.com
• Most expensive piece under Gitanjali’s brands?
A necklace set with 64.3 carats of diamonds that retails for more than Dh1 million. It’s from our luxury Italian brand Stefan Hafner.
• Fastest-selling item in Gitanjali’s history?
The Nakshatra seven-stone floral design available in four patterns and different diamond-weight sizes.
• Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, true or false?
The answer is true of course! They were, they are and will always be a girl’s best friend.
What the stars say
• Priyanka Chopra “I feel part of the Gitanjali family as I endorse one of its most spirited brands – Asmi which means ‘I am’ in Sanskrit. It represents the new-age Indian woman, celebrating her economic and social independence. It has a contemporary and feminine look that is distinctly evocative of strength and grace.”
• Katrina Kaif “‘Nakshatra’ means luck and happiness and I’m fortunate to be associated with a brand that already has a place in the hearts of Indian women.”
Brands in portfolio: 25
Indian diamond jewellery: launched in 1994
'Super Brand' status: achieved in 2004