You decked your home for Diwali with diyas, flowers and rangolis; made those batches of delicious mithais. Now it’s your turn to sparkle. Pairing your glam desi outfit with an elegant piece of jewellery will add that extra bling to your festive look. To guide you, we spoke to leading jewellery experts who offer the lowdown on trends this Diwali to help you pick the right ornaments.
The effects of Covid-19 cannot be denied in any sector this year and, understandably, they have impacted jewellery purchases and usage as well. "Due to the pandemic there have been changes in our work habits, style of dressing, travel plans and socialising," points out Raed Ahmad Baker, chairman of Liali Jewellery, Dubai.
He points to research that shows this year the sale of cosmetics has also gone down considerably as extensive mask-wearing has reduced the usage of make-up products among women. "For Diwali, we are seeing women opting for diamond hoops as they make the perfect style statement even when a mask covers most of your face," he says.
Earrings, clearly, are the most sought-after accessories this festive season as they not only enhance traditional outfits, but equally complement work attire worn at home and even during a Zoom meeting.
With the strong appreciation in gold prices in the past few months, gold jewellery is also much in demand this festive season as buyers are convinced it is a safe investment. The precious metal is interestingly growing in popularity among the youth too. "Gold being the only consumable investment has made gold jewellery a favourite among shoppers, even attracting young millennials, who are mostly first-time buyers," says Shamlal Ahamed, managing director of international operations at Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Dubai.
The trend is visible in many jewellery stores across the country.
At the Joyalukkas stores spread across the UAE, sales in gold jewellery has been picking up pace. "Gold is the eternal favourite during Diwali and, as always, we are seeing a good demand for gold jewellery," says John Paul Alukkas, executive director of Joyalukkas, Dubai. "Gold is associated with luck, prosperity and joy, and this makes customers opt for a wide variety of gold jewellery in varied designs."
Quite like other experts, he too agrees that customers are buying more gold coins and bars this year compared to 2019. "That is because of gold’s investment value," he says.
With the economic pressure of the pandemic increasing, customers during Diwali are gearing towards making affordable gold purchases. Jewellery stores have seen an increase in demand for lightweight and multifunctional ornaments that can be worn on several occasions. "The biggest trend this year is the usability and functionality of jewellery," says Arjun Dhanak, Director of Kanz Jewels, Dubai. "Increasingly, our clients are looking for jewellery that is versatile and can be worn to make a statement or to tone down their festive look."
At a time when people are becoming more mindful about their life choices and expenditures, minimalistic designs with subtle and sophisticated patterns are much in demand and the trend for such jewellery is visible across the emirates. Jewellery brands reveal that their research and development teams are constantly creating new products to support the fashion and accessory choices of their customers. "We find that most people opt for variety and uniqueness in design, while purchasing festive jewellery," says Malabar Gold and Diamond’s Shamlal. "Our R&D team is constantly creating and sourcing new products depending on customers’ evolving needs."
According to him, when it comes to design preferences the key words this year are subtlety and sophistication. "There is also an increasing demand for customised jewellery, made-to-order according to individual taste and choice," says Ahamed.
Typically, Diwali is considered an auspicious time to buy a grand jewellery set. If the trend in 2019 included demand for bangles, necklaces and polki diamond sets, this year the shift is towards jewellery that is timeless; ones in which you can look splendid when attired in both traditional and western wear.
"For Diwali we usually have customers selecting necklace sets. This year we expect the same, but perhaps many of them would opt for a simpler look with just long earrings or a sleek pendant and chain set," says Dhanak.
In diamond jewellery, non-solitaire jewellery is trending. It not only replicates the "look and feel" of solitaire diamonds but also does not burn a hole in the pocket. "Pendant sets with matching rings are also wearable and affordable in the current condition," says Baker.