The kaleidoscope of saturated colors were a feast for an artist’s eye. I still vibrate from memory of hot pink, royal blue, cobalt, turquoise, red, fiery orange, emerald, canary, and purple saris made from the finest hand embroidered and woven shimmering silks. The wedding colors were red, ivory and gold. Red is considered to be an auspicious color for a wedding.
And the gold! Worn as a symbol of the marriage celebration, gold was everywhere to be seen. Elaborate filigree and jeweled necklaces draped the necks of the Indian women and gold bangles were stacked to the elbow. Bangles hold great value in the Hindu tradition. Traditionally, married Hindu women always wear bangles around their wrists. I borrowed some gold bangles and even ended up painting my toenails gold to join in the celebration.
What a contrast with the attire for a formal American evening wedding where the guests predominantly wear black or neutrals. Perhaps this is done to not overpower the bride. In Indian culture, solid black is considered to be a color of mourning. The only sari I did see with black was one with a contrasting geometric white pattern – and of course lots of gold.
I had purchased the perfect wrap skirt made of vintage silk saris that would honor both cultures and could be worn both days in two different ways. The first day of the celebration I wrapped part of the skirt around my waist and hips, gathered the fabric over my chest, across and behind my left shoulder and tied it at the waist to form it into a sari. I added a shawl as it was a cool day. The next day I wore it as a skirt with a lace top and belted silk jacket.
So what exactly made this wedding so special to a jewelry designer? I was inspired not only by the rich textures and colors of the saris but also by their versatile draping. It reinforced my approach of finding multiple ways to use a single adornment and the excitement when it comes together so well!