Mrinalini Chandra is B-town’s favourite when it comes to making custom kaleeras. The designer has personalised wedding jewellery for celebrity brides like Alia Bhatt, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Kajal Agarwal, and more.
Mrinalini Chandra breaks down the designs for Alia and Katrina’s wedding kaleeras:
They say it takes a village to give a bride her perfect wedding. Right from the extravagant lehengas to the fine details of the wedding party, it takes months of planning to make a wedding flawless.
With B-town weddings making a big splash on social media, folks are highly influenced by the choices celebrity brides are making these days. While we saw many brides opting for the pastel pink lehenga and rosy make-up after Anushka Sharma’s wedding, the newest trend on the block is the minimal intimate set up that Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor followed for their big day.
Alia Bhatt wore a custom-made Sabyasachi saree with minimal make-up and now the ‘gold and white’ trend is seeing a rise at Indian weddings. Another fine detail that caught the eye at Alia’s wedding was her personalised set of kaleeras. Designed by Mrinalini Chandra, the kaleeras were a representation of everything Alia likes. Clouds, butterflies, sunflowers and the famous infinity sign, all these motifs and more were a part of her wedding jewellery. Mrinalini has also designed personalised kaleeras for Katrina Kaif, Natasha Dalal, Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and, many celebrity brides.
We talk to her about her process and what went into making Alia Bhatt’s kaleeras that the millennial brides are raving about. Excerpts…
What goes into making personalised kaleere for a bride?
Creating a customised Kaleera for us is embarking on a journey with each of our brides. It starts from exploring the elements that are most precious to her. Our role is to curate an artwork of motifs derived from those elements. Kaleere are the only piece of jewellery with the potential to be customised with such detail. It is something she can keep with her as a memento of precious moments preserved in time.
You are Bollywood’s go-to person for kaleere and sehra. But how did the journey begin?
Thank you, I’m very grateful. The journey of bespoke kaliras and sehras has been very organic. I truly believe one should own only what they truly love and that resonates with their personal style. Hence, bespoke jewels became my primary area of focus. Any of the creations at my atelier are efforts towards this direction. Once people recognise your talent, they reach out when they need something special. We now do many different bespoke objects of art for Bollywood and it’s quite exciting.
How much time did it take to make the motifs for Alia Bhatt’s custom Kaleere?
Alia’s kaleeras are one of the most delicate and mesmerising ones we have ever made. It was the coming together of an enchanting range of handcrafted motifs such as etched clouds, waves, sunflowers, infinity symbol, many butterflies and a trail of sparkling stars. It was specially handcrafted by the veteran karigars of Lucknow and Jaipur. We worked with an age old jewellery making technique called Chitai, it’s a type of surface engraving but it is done by hand.
Do you think the choice of kaleeras define a bride’s personality?
Yes, absolutely. Each and every kalira we make is different as per the bride’s requirements. It is the best part of doing bespoke kaliras. They are a reflection of the bride and we encourage them to customise every thing that is special to them in the form of motifs in their kaleeras or any jewellery they make with us . To us each story is as special and we do our best in realising each unique idea.
Katrina Kaif went for the classic kaleeras, can you tell us why she picked it for her big day?
We created the bespoke gold plated dove kaleeras for Katrina, where each of the birds was carrying a coin engraved with personalised messages on delicate flower twigs. The doves were handcrafted in Jaipur. She got “Ohm”, a special date and words that hold deep meaning to her engraved on the coins. We felt immense joy creating bespoke kaliras for such an iconic bride.
Can you share with us your process for making the fine designs and jewellery?
We have a very detailed, meticulous, and eco-friendly process of designing and creating our products. It helps that I have a highly specialised education in the field of luxury jewellery and accessories. My passion for it started with being noticed for my offbeat creative side during my early days at NIFT in Delhi. This led to winning all the awards at my convocation and eventually earning a 100% scholarship to the best jewellery school in Milan, Italy to further hone my skills. I worked at the Tanishq headquarters in Delhi and at Montblanc, Germany before i started my own label in 2014. When it comes to defining my designs, I would like to say there is always more than what meets the eye.