The sterling metal can be your style statement for every occasion. For young and old alike, it’s the new gold

 

Supreeta Singh

 

 
Like every woman, actress Koneenica Banerjee loves to dress up in traditional wear and resplendent silver jewellery is her favourite pick. Wrapped in a classic black saree, her delicate bangles and earrings generate lilting melody as she shares her fashion mantra. “I love authentic silver ornaments. I used to have a huge bag of jewellery worth `12,000 which I would carry to the set every day. Since I have many friends in Delhi and Jaipur, I prefer getting it from there since the designes are exquisite,” says Koneenica.
Silver jewellery is fast gaining popularity among women and men alike as more functional and practical piece of ornament that can give gold diggers a run for their money. “Affordable and fashionable, silver has been in fashion for quite some time now. But more and more designers are experimenting with the metal in the way it is crafted in terms of designs and polish. And customers are more than eager to try different looks,” says Anargha Chowdhury of Anjali Jewellers.
At present, jewellery designers are captivated by floral and geometric designs. Green is the colour of the season and the use of precious and semi-precious stones embedded in silver is the latest trend. Globally, the demand is more for light-weight and delicate pieces that can be worn at both informal and formal occasions. Designer Manas Ghorai says, “Gold and platinum are expensive. So silver could be a good substitute. Currently, silver jewellery is combined with materials like wood, beads and glass to make it more contemporary. I also use enamels and stones like agate which has a remarkable variety of colours and texture.”
Unlike gold, which is shiny and bright, silver is known for its subtle charm. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. In a bid to enhance or combine that subdued elegance with art, Manas has recently launched a collection based on Pat paintings. Manas has done a course from Gemology Institute of America. “I was always fascinated by Orissa’s folk art. Because silver is enriched with tribal connotations, I decided to use Patachitra encasing them in silver pendants and earrings,” informs Manas. His workshop at Howrah employs 10 craftsmen from the surrounding areas. Priced between `500 and `15,000, each piece is handcrafted and exclusive.
Silver is also popular because of its affinity with the Indian skin tone. Jewellery designer Nilaanjana Chakraborty says, “Indian women look gorgeous in silver. I get orders for both light-weight and heavy jewellery. But most often, women want a single chunky piece, like a statement necklace or chandelier earrings or a chunky bracelet. Abstract shapes in brushed silver that look neither golden nor silvery are in vogue.” The designer has her craftsmen in Jaipur who chisel out the designs sent by her.
According to Nilanjana, the enthusiasm for silver began to gain momentum when socialites and celebrities flaunted the chic metal. She reflects, “I have experienced that the demand for silver increased when it became more visible in the media. Whenever a celebrity sports a certain piece of jewellery which is nice and exciting, people flock to the shops and it becomes a trend.” For example, in a recently concluded television series called Gaaner Opare, the protagonist only wore silver jewellery supplied by Anjali Jewellers.
Earlier, silver didn’t have as much re-sale value as gold, but now buying siver has become a good investment policy. “The price has increased from `56 to `65 per gram in the last few days. So hoarding silver accessories isn’t a bad idea after all,” says Manas.
Manas adds that most of his clients are high-profile. The age bracket hovers somewhere between 16 and 60 years, reveals Anargha. This means that silver can go beyond age factor and make anyone look attractive, trendy and stylish. No wonder, women are donning silver jewellery with Western wear like dresses and trousers too.

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