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Strung with nostalgia

Beautiful beaded jewellery from Kolkata comes to the city. What's more? It's affordable


SHE SEEMS to be completely bedazzled by beads. Quite evidently, from beautiful to bizarre, beads in myriad shapes and sizes beckon attention in Nilanjana Chakraborty's chunky, chic, colourful and not so costly collection of jewellery. But in case you have inhibitions about sporting some of the elaborately designed beads in wood, shell, plastic, glass, metal and camel bone, Nilanjana helps you shed them. Clad in a simple chiffon sari and showing off a neckpiece with rows of beads in a bold colour and an equally intricate bracelet, she confidently conveys that even rustic jewellery has an aesthetic appeal.

Nilanjana today is much more than a star wife (Her husband is well-known Bengali actor Arjun Chakraborty) and a Page 3 regular in Kolkata. Thanks to Adyavision, the brand name under which she markets her creations, she has managed to capture a steady clientele.

Looks like the designer took her history classes seriously at school, for she delves deep into the Greek, Roman and Indus Valley civilisations to draw inspiration for her art. "I learnt my lessons in designing from the ornaments that people then wore," she says. She sources the raw material from the hilly regions of Northeast to get that authentic tribal look. She has a team of craftsmen who give shape to her imagination. "While some of the beads are in their original form, a few are painted in mix-n-match colours for a dressy look. I also attach metal pendants with antique carvings to complete the old world appeal."


Nilanjana follows a flexible formula. "I don't go by trends but rather by taste. Wear what you believe in. Style is a relative term that varies with individuals. By falling into a pattern, you could stifle your creative sensibilities. So no two pieces in my collection are the same as I want each one to be exclusive," she insists.

The antique touch extends even to lightweight gold (with a good dose of copper) and silver costume jewellery that includes dainty necklaces and earrings combined sometimes with kundan work. "Some of these exotic designs could cost you a fortune and may not be available in pure gold. But this metallic medium makes these pieces purse-friendly," says Nilanjana.

With her well-established film connections, she now has star clients too. But Nilanjana is keen to cater for the ordinary women who have a penchant for fashionable accessories.

Nilanjana will hold an exhibition-cum-sale of jewellery and saris on August 29 and 30 (10.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) at Vimonisha, 12, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam.

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

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