Sreelakshmi L. of online store Saatrangi Silver Studio on her love for silver jewellery
Chunky silver jewellery has become an essential in every fashionista’s wardrobe: humongous ‘lotus’ jhumkas, chandbalis and chandelier earrings favoured by the likes of Deepika Padukone and Vidya Balan, disc-like nose pins like what Parvathy wore so effortlessly in Charlie, necklaces that Nayanthara made a statement with in Puthiya Niyamam…Sreelakshmi L., a young, city-based engineer, along with her sister, techie Sreedevi L., has curated several such funky, hand-crafted silver accessories, under her label Saatrangi Silver Studio. Over the past couple of years, the online silver jewellery store has become a firm favourite with fashion trendsetters in the city and beyond.
It all started when their mother gifted Sreelakhsmi a bag of ornamental beads and chunky necklaces that she bought from a wholesaler in Delhi. “I have a creative bend of mind and immediately fashioned a few simple pieces of jewellery, started a Facebook page, uploaded a few photos and just like that I was in the accessories business. I got hooked to silver jewellery only later, when I came across a photo of actor Kavya Madhavan wearing a pair of jhumkas. It was just around the time that the trend for silver jewellery was really taking off. One of my aunts put me in touch with a silver supplier and he sent me a few pieces, which I refashioned into trendier designs and Saatrangi was born,” says Sreelakshmi, while laying out some of the pieces from Saatrangi’s latest Onam collection.
There are sterling silver jhumkas, big and small, nose pins of different shapes and sizes, cocktail rings and silver and glass work earrings, traditional Kerala style pichimottu and manga malas studded with semi-precious stones, pendants, bangles with Rawa work, ear cuffs, anklets and many more. The prices range from ₹ 300 for the smaller nose pins to ₹7,500 for the bigger necklaces.
“Jhumkas are all-time favourites, probably because they are so versatile, both as festive and everyday wear. Nose pins have also really caught on, ever since Charlie was released. Puthiya Niyamam-style long chains continue to be in vogue because they are chunky in appearance but lightweight and hence easy on the pocket. Actually, every time we see a popular actor appear on screen or on social media wearing something in silver there’s an immediate demand for similar pieces. I keep an eye out for such trends and I now have traditional silversmiths in Jaipur, Kolhapur and Kolkata who fashion such pieces for me,” says Sreelakshmi.
Apparently, Kolhapuri-style silver jewellery has more takers among her customers, which mostly comprises youngsters and non-resident Indians. “It’s very detailed work, mostly incorporating divine motifs. It’s light-weight too,” she explains. Jaipur-style gold-plated silver jewellery also has many fans as well as Kolkata silver’s flower motifs.
“Jaipuri pieces are more contemporary and sleek but usually on the heavier side. All the pieces are made of sterling silver that has been given an oxidised coating, which prevents it from being tarnished. As such it does not require much maintenance. All you need to do is wipe thoroughly with a cotton cloth,” says Sreelakshmi, before she signs off.