Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal tied the knot yesterday, and everyone on the internet cannot get enough of their looks. Katrina Kaif looked gorgeous in her red lehenga with a bespoke kaleera designed by Mrinalini Chandra.
Kaleeras, are statement pieces of jewellery worn by several brides as part of a tradition. The bride’s sister and friends tie these kaleeras on her wrist as a way to bless her marriage. After the ceremony is complete, traditionally, the bride will clank her wrists together in an attempt to drop a kaleera on the heads of her bridesmaids. As legend has it, if it falls on someone, they will be the next to marry. Although superstitious, it is still one of the most beautiful traditions to be followed at an Indian wedding.
Mrinalini Chandra: Kaleeras worn by celebrity brides – Katrina Kaif, Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and more
Katrina Kaif followed the tradition at her wedding as well. Her whole attire included the works of various notable designers, including kaleera designer Mrinalini Chandra. We had the honour of speaking with her regarding the process, getting into the details of the kaleeras.
In a conversation with Mrinalini Chandra, she explained that they were the first to reinvent kaleeras in their show in 2014 for Lakme Fashion Week, and soon they started making bespoke kaleeras for brides. She also mentioned how the kaleeras were like art installations, not just traditional but with a taste of personalisation as a part of their journey. Mrinalini’s atelier does not involve anything store-bought that they sell off as theirs. Each piece and unit of the kaleera and other items is customized. Not only that but, all the metals used are recycled ones, and the units are gold plated, all done by hand using no plastic waste. They are a small business with an all-girls team, making it all the more special. She has created kaleeras for several celebrity brides, each with its own unique style. The celebrities included:
One of the first celebrity brides for Mrinalini was Sonam Kapoor, who has always been her muse which is why Sonam was gifted the kaleeras. Sonam Kapoor’s outfit was accented beautifully by the set of traditional peacock kaleeras created by Mrinalini. Coming from a Punjabi descent, Sonam participated in the complete ceremony of getting the kaleeras tied by people.
The bespoke kaleeras got populariaed by Priyanka Chopra wearing them at her wedding. Priyanka wanted her kaleeras personalized, dedicating them to her love story. The process behind the customization was to create a Q & A to get answers, developing those into motifs. Mrinalini described the entire journey with Priyanka Chopra and her stylist Ami Patel as a beautiful one. With around 30 units in her kaleeras, each designed individually, the kaleeras were bespoke and soon became a trademark for Mrinalini’s brand. Getting appreciated by such a prominent personality was like a milestone for her.
While working on the kaleeras for Kajal Aggarwal, Mrianlini said that they had the creative freedom with the kaleeras as Kajal was experimental with its length or even the drama around it. She explained how Kajal’s kaleeras were almost like an art installation, as they were huge. She added pearls to the kaleeras so that they could match her outfit. Although pearls aren’t their signature style, keeping in mind the personalisation aspect and the bride, the pearls embellished the kaleeras. The pearls matched the jewels, keeping the entire outfit in sync.
Mrinalini shared that Natasha Dalal’s kaleeras were relatively minimal and delicate, considering she is private, sophisticated and elegant as a person. Natasha wanted a dainty and delicate kaleera to match her personality and not merge or strike out with her champagne gold outfit. Mrinalini designed a beautiful white-gold kaleera for Natasha, with actual mozanites embedded in it with Swarovski crystal droppings. They had also created her ‘Choodas’. As Mrinalini didn’t want to do the traditional red ones, she designed a white set of Choodas for her with tiny flowers enameled onto the bangles. Although a bit challenging as it is different from her usual style, Mrinalini did a fantastic job on the kaleeras and the Choodas.
Fashion stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania had approached Mrinalini Chandra a month back regarding the kaleeras for Katrina Kaif. Katrina Kaif had already inquired about the talented artist from another stylist, and rightly so. An exciting opportunity for Mrinalini, she jumped at it without any second thoughts, creating something unique for Katrina. The multi-ethnic Katrina Kaif marrying into a traditional Punjabi family made this journey compelling. We all know that in Punjab, traditionally, the kaleeras have meaning to them and seeing Katrina value that was refreshing. Katrina had also given them the freedom to create her kaleeras.
The legendary stylist, Anaita Shroff Adajania, with whom Mrinalini was very excited to share her space, was there at every step, guiding her and giving her freedom. Wanting a modern take on the kaleeras, Mrinalini created a bangle concept for Katrina Kaif. Considering that Katrina may participate in the traditional way of wearing the kaleera, she thought it might get difficult for her to tie and wear it as it can get heavy. With this bangle concept, Katrina can keep the kaleeras with her, using them later and treasure them for a lifetime.
With the help of Anaita Shroff Adajania, they came up with beautiful charms of messenger birds, an olden times way of sending messages. Keeping Katrinas peaceful, calm, beautiful and angelic vibe in mind, the flying messenger birds came up as an idea, carrying flower twigs with a coin charm and a personalized message written on them. The kaleera embodies all the things that mean something to Katrina and Vicky. Mrinalini Chandra added that they created the birds in Lucknow, the coins in Jaipur, and then assembled in Mumbai, in her little studio, where all the magic happens.
All Images Courtesy: Mrinalini Chandra Instagram and brand.