Friday, August 20, 2010

What’s your inner Bollywood as a beadweaver?

Bollywood is Etsy Beadweaver’s Monthly Challenge Theme for September. September is also when Bolly Basics dance lessons start at my local performing arts centre (Geelong, Victoria, Australia) and only last night I watched a fascinating documentary on the beginnings of the Bollywood Film Industry. It seems Bollywood is in the air and it’s time for me to discover my inner Bollywood.

With over 1000 films per year made by the Mumbai based film industry (known as Bollywood) it’s stories full of love triangles, sacrifice, corrupt politicians, kidnappers, murder and intrigue have captured the imaginations of millions of people in India and beyond. For beadweavers, the incredibly intense, colourful and rich costumes of it’s leading ladies, leading men and the sets themselves offer exciting and diverse sources of inspiration to find their inner Bollywood (see for example, the hand crafted Bollywood Ethnic Polki Gold Bridal Earring in the image). The sets and costumes are alive with colour that each has its meanings for the audience. Often hues of red and gold are used in wedding scenes (as in the earring image), bright yellows and magentas signify the courtship, blacks and edgy reds are seen in fight scenes and scenes where danger lurks and greens and luscious purples found in scenes full of lust and seduction.

Of course, there is not just one Bollywood style when it comes to sets and costumes, but many. However, I find myself drawn to the sensational Bollywood that uses intense, vibrant colours that dance across the screen, that unashamedly layers gold and silver through it’s designs so that they have no choice but to sparkle from every angle and that celebrates the body by adorning every part of it - arms, wrists, ankles, foreheads, necks, waists, ears and hair – with jewelry that is magical, romantic, dramatic and above all made to seen. I call my inner Bollywood – vibrant bling.
What is your inner Bollywood? Not sure? Try these suggestions to find out:
  • Pop by a couple of the Bollywood jewelry stores online (links below) to explore a diverse array of jewelry designs.
  • Search online using the names of some current Bollywood leading ladies. For example, Kareena Kapoor, Preity Zinta, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Kajol, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Neha Dhupiya, Madhuri Dixit, Karishma Kapoor, Ameesha Patel, Raveena Tandon, Amrita Rao.
  • Search using Google images for Bollywood fashions and Bollywood costumes. You can’t help but be inspired by the intensity and diversity of colour, shape and form that emerges.
  • See how other artists internationally have used Bollywood imagery to inspire in enterprises as diverse as cupcake design to handmade glass beads (links below).
  • Play some clips from Youtube – one full of the intense colours and traditional jewelry is Aishwarya Rai Hindi Bollywood Dance but there is lots there.
Some beginning links:
Happy Bollywood beading
Glenda of Dax Designs, for the EBW Group.


  1. Great post, Glenda! Very informative and fun. I checked out the Bollywood beads link. Too cool!!

  2. Brilliant Glenda! Your posts will be a fantastic addition to our team blog. Thank you so much for stepping up and sharing your elegant "wordsmithing."

  3. "no choice but to sparkle from any angle."

    My favorite part, and the part I'm focusing on! :) My non-beading office-mates all think Bollywood is a fantastic theme.

  4. Great article Glenda and thank you so much for taking on this duty. It is a great addition to our blog site.

  5. Thanks all for your support - I am really looking forward to what might come from this challenge and also to thinking about the next themes. Really appreciate the comments.

  6. Fantastic entry, Glenda. Your talent as a beadweaver and a writer continue to amaze me. Thank you so much!

  7. Thank you, Glenda, for the information! This is a great Challenge for us.

  8. Very challenging from an older American who didn't know what Bollywood was until last week! (lol)

  9. Great article! thank you Glenda! can't wait to see everyone's bright and colourful entries!!!

  10. What a great article. I just finished my Red Bollywood earrings and will be listing them shortly. I love this challenge.

  11. Thanks for the Bollywood info. I can't wait to see all the entries for this challenge.

  12. I am really looking forward to seeing the entries folks - very exciting and thanks for taking time to comment and for the support.