Chances are that your feed, like mine, were inundated with pictures of a very happy Kiara Advani in bridal flair, standing next to her newly-minted groom, Sidharth Malhotra. But beyond the smiles and evident glee that can only emanate from a newly-wed couple, what captured the eyes and imaginations of anyone indulging a bit of aimless Instagram scrolling, were the elaborate diamonds decorating Advani’s neck, ears, and hands. The bride wore natural diamonds. And indeed, not just any diamonds – big, beautiful solitaires offset by Zambian emeralds, punctuating all noticeable parts of her body.
The Bollywood actress has not been the only one skipping polki and meenakari, for a more frosted look on her wedding day. Consistently, famous brides like Anushka Sharma (whose bridal diamond necklace with pearl drops completed her reception look) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas (who wore natural diamonds as her bridal jewellery) are picking the scintillating stone for their wedding day.
Renu Oberoi, creative director of Renu Oberoi Luxury Jewellery explains, “Brides are moving away from traditional Indian Jadau jewellery due to its restrictive wear after the main wedding.” She’s noticing an onslaught of modern brides opting for jewellery with a design-first approach and comfort at its core, resulting in the rise (and rise) of natural diamond bridal jewellery. “The outlook on jewellery has shifted as brides believe that it is meant to be worn and become a part of their daily lives and not to be unveiled only on ‘occasions’.” With this, natural diamonds, and their understated versatility and wearability, promise long wear much after the wedding day is over. You can wear it for your wedding, to the cocktail party at your friend’s wedding, and then again for a night out or dinner with your partner.
The trick is to invest in double duty pieces. Can the haathphool from your wedding day come apart and turn into a diamond bracelet? Can the necklace be worn in more ways than one? “Innovative detachable jewellery is a gamechanger,” explains Federica Imperiali, head of new product development at Forevermark. “A grand neckpiece can split into two distinct smaller necklaces, statement chandeliers can convert into sober studs and chokers can be detached into bracelets. Modular techniques in jewellery make this transformation possible,” she says. And more often than not, brides are asking for it.
I did too, as a modern bride at the beginning of the year. I chose to wear real diamonds for the wedding after-party as well as for the reception celebration. At the post wedding party, I wore a fitted black dress with a cascading raindrop natural diamond choker that snapped around my neck with utmost ease. No frantic moments of finding someone to fasten it required. Working with diamonds, even for designers, allows for this kind of experimentation and innovation in design. “With striking yet lightweight natural diamond designs, contemporary brides are incorporating diamond jewellery rather effortlessly into their wedding wardrobe,” attests the maker of the piece herself, Renu Oberoi.
Another remarkable quality of the natural diamond is to render modernity to any look it punctuates. I wore diamonds with a silver handwork beaded lehenga for day two. The lehenga had all the markers of a traditional outfit — a long gossamer dupatta, a blouse with dori ties at the back, but a lattice-work diamond necklace and earrings set (borrowed from my mother’s jewellery box) brought it right into the present. It was also a piece of my mother layered with stories of all the times she wore it — with a banarasi sari, a black dress, a comfortable kaftan. An heirloom diamond from the woman I admire most rightly found pride of place on my neck that evening.
A similar proclivity for the modernity and freshness of natural diamonds was seen in the bridal looks of Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who wore a brilliant diamond necklace and subtle maang tikka with a red corseted gown. Deepika Padukone, too, wore layers of pearls and diamonds including a pair of jhumkas and a bib necklace to offset her supremely traditional Sabyasachi off-white sari. As if to say, whatever your bridal personality, there is a diamond avatar for everyone. Celebrity stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania explains, “I still feel that an important occasion needs diamonds — there’s something about diamonds that adds a sparkle to your smile and to your eyes. They have a timeless charm, a bit of old world, a bit of new. It feels like heritage and feels beautiful and grand. That mixed with the subtler, crystal embroideries that a lot of people are wearing now as brides complement it perfectly.”
A part of the extreme allure of natural diamond jewellery, especially for the brides of today, remains the longevity of the sparkling stone. Culturally of course, as we become more global in our outlooks (and wardrobes), but also economically, as we think more about what will find the most wear and value in our daily lives. Diamonds are forever. They are passed down from mothers to daughters and grandmothers to grandsons. Just as my mother did to me— when I chose the scintillating diamond necklace as a part of my trousseau as I step into this new phase of my life…