Decoding Mahanati: 70 jewels that conjured magic to give Savitri’s magnificent 1950’s to 1980’s look

The jewelry designer for the film Naveen Sangli and his team from L Bajrang Pershad Jewellers in Hyderabad began by watching her movie and the jewelry she wore in the yesteryear.

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When the teaser of the most eagerly awaited film Mahanati, a biopic of legendary actress Savitri, was released recently, Keerthy Suresh’s stately ornaments in Gold, Kundan, and Diamonds look in the film left everyone in admiration about the choices the legendary actress Savitri had made during her lifetime.

While creating the perfect look with jewelry for Mahanati, the jewelry designer for the film Naveen Sangli and his team from L Bajrang Pershad Jewellers in Hyderabad began by watching her movie and the jewelry she wore in the yesteryears, including the study of the actress’ pictures and got the jewelry sketched.

A team of five hand artisans was put meticulous work to reinvent the classics. Gold, Kundan and Diamond jewelry were recreated in same old designs and finished with the antique look. Close to 15 karigars worked to customise and recreate these pieces exclusively for 8 months after studying for almost 6 months into the actress’ life story,” Naveen of Bejarang Pershad said.

Even some of the antique jewelry were customized to meet the expectations of director Nag Ashwin’s vision for Keerthy Suresh who played the titular role of Savitri. These included necklaces, champaswaralu, earrings, jhumkas, bangles, watches, finger rings, paapidi billa, and vaddanams,” producer Priyanka Dutt of Swapna Cinema said.

Savitri’s choice of jewels were always an extension of her personality, which is subtle yet beautifully chosen by her for every occasion. It is predominantly glamorous. “You wear it and it captivates you,” says the director Nag Ashwin, about the jewels that Savitri loved, adding that it took many laborious days for our jewellery designer to delve into her past, talk to her family, and know about her sensibilities for jewels before sitting down with our craftsman to make it.

We used a lot of old methods like gold wire wrapping and dainty stone setting methods to get the closest vintage look possible. Matching a few pieces with the sarees designed by designer Gaurang Shah was another major challenge. All his sarees were such antique weaves and vintage dyes, that giving matching jewelry to these was quite a task. Each studded piece has been a piece of art, blending with the era, the actress, the costumes and the imagination of the director,” Naveen of Bajrang Pershad stated.

Every piece of jewelry we recreated is a tribute to the screen goddess Savitri,” the makers of the film Priyanka Dutt of Swapna Cinema and Director Nag Ashwin say. The iconic pieces are true film museum treasures. Creating addigas for Devadas look and coordinating them with the costumes was another feather in the hat. When you watch the movie, the replicas are merely going to leave you with all your jaws dropped.

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