Mangalsutra for millennial brides- a symbol of union gets attention from luxury designers
If the last few years witnessed edgy bridal fashion ensembles, trendy accessories for the Dulhan, and offbeat color combinations steering away from traditional choices, the year 2021 witnessed what we’ll call the most unexpected offering from two very prominent brands– luxury leader Bvlgari and designer extraordinaire Sabyasachi– both these iconic brands launched a ‘Mangalsutra’.
The sacred thread which has been worn for generations and a must-wear in many communities is a reflection of so many emotions. For those who wear it always, it is the most treasured jewelry whose value is priceless, and where it was bought from didn’t matter at all. So the question ‘where did you buy the saree’ or ‘where did you pick the gold bangles from’ would have been common in the past, but rarely did anyone ask ‘where did you buy your mangalsutra’?. And for some women whose wardrobe included a lot of western wear, the traditional mangalsutra was something that didn’t coordinate well with a jeans and trendy top, LBB, or a cocktail gown. This sacred thread came in the way of dressing up differently on some days.
In 2021, when both Bvlgari and Sabyasachi launched the mangalsutra, it did come as a surprise to fashion mavens and marketers that these brands would choose to introduce a traditional piece of jewellery, and one that is meant to be worn every day. Was it a reflection of the sign of the times, going back to roots and celebrating our age-old traditions in the pandemic phase? Or was there no connection with how the pandemic changed buying/ spending/ wearing? Was Mangalsutra the innovation offered to women buying designer/ luxury brands and among whom Mangalsutra wearing became rarer?
We talked to some bridal influencers to understand what these new modern interpretations of mangalsutra mean to them.
Mahima Mahajan, Bridal Designer
“Mangalsutra s have been a part of a bride’s trousseau forever and still is an integral part of a Hindu marriage ceremony. But of late mangalsutra and sindoor are only seen on women on special occasions or festivals like karwachauth. Sabyasachi and Bvlgari have given a modern, more wearable twist to the age-old tradition, and I’m all for it. If this jewellery piece can be worn in a more modern/ stylish way then why not. I believe in keeping traditions alive, and revamping the mangalsutra is widely welcomed by most brides of today.”
Anushka Ranjan, Actor and Producer
“I feel these new-age design mangalsutras are a nod to our Indian heritage, while also allowing women to wear something sleeker and a little less traditional. These sleek designs can work with everything – from casual dresses and t-shirt and jeans to glam gowns and cocktail sarees. Hence women are likely to wear it more compared to earlier when one would stash away their mangalsutra as soon as the wedding was over and never use it again unless it’s a traditional festive occasion.”
Megha Israni, Wedding Photographer
“One of the most important ornaments for a Hindu bride is a mangalsutra. Just like everything else, we’re witnessing an evolution of the Mangalsutras amongst millennial brides. From classic gold and black/red beads and threads, we’re moving towards something more modern, versatile, and meaningful at the same time. Modern brides desire the flexibility to wear a mangalsutra beyond purely traditional events. They want designs that can be worn not only at weddings but also during brunches, restaurants, offices, and even for a night party look.
The new-age brides are looking to blend their traditional roots with their modern wardrobe and brands like Bulgari surely resonate with them.”