The Makings of Anarkali Head Chain: Collaborating with Pakistani Weddings

A few months ago I had the pleasure of e-meeting ( online meeting ) Bisma, the owner of an incredible blow, Pakistani Weddings. Bisma runs an incredible Instagram page with over 79K followers. Bisma and I collaborated when I sent her a pair of Bali Anklets she rocked on her wedding day ( and looked absolutely stunning ).
A few months after her wedding, Bisma and I decided that we MUST collaborate again, but this time, instead of focusing on the sandals we should create a head chain. Since I literally will jump on ANY new project which will challenge me as a designer I couldn't wait to get started. 
Bisma sent me an initial idea where she wanted to take the center piece of Euphoria sandals, and make them into a head chain. When hearing about Bisma's idea I was thrilled. Euphoria Sandals are one of my favorite pairs of sandals from our Rhinestone collection, so turning them into a head piece was something I definitely wanted to get my hands on. 
Bisma sent me an initial sketch of what she had in mind, while I ordered all of the materials and patiently waited for suppliers to get back to me. Here is what her sketch looked like: The first sketch is what Bisma had in mind for the head chain. The second one was the one I came back with and asked if she would rather have the red rhinestones on the side of the chain, or champagne ones. Bisma loved the idea of the red stones, we we went ahead with option number 2. 
 
Once I got all of the materials ( finally ) in stock, I was super excited to get started. 
The first step was to attach the center piece emblem to the square rhinestones which were 12 all around the rhinestone-embedded centerpiece. 
 
Once I had all the rhinestones attached in place, I needed to add red seed beads between each square rhinestone. I used double 0.06mm Fireline beading thread to ensure durability of the thread and to make sure that the seed beads were going to stay in one place. 
 
The next step was to attach the pendant to the front of the head chain. Initially I had planned on attaching the smaller, solid red pendant. However, after attaching it, I was not 100% happy with the result. The main medallion totally outweighed the smaller pendant and the chain looked deformed. So I decided to go with the larger pendant instead. Plus - it had all of the clear rhinestones as well, so it matched the main piece perfectly.
 
After attaching the pendant, I worked on attaching solid red Kundan rhinestones to the center of the head piece where your hairline would go. I needed to make this modification to the original design ( which did not have this part included ) because the emblem was pretty heavy and I needed to distribute the weigh of the headpiece equally. Last thing I would have wanted is for the pendant to slide of, or be completely uncomfortable when wearing it. 
 
Next came the most frustrating part: measuring out the chain and attaching it to the pendants. You would think that this would be the easiest part... however, given the fact that there were 3 chains that needed to be attached to each side, this took a lot longer than expected. This happened for a few reasons:
a. I did not want the dangling chains to hang too low and block out eyesight. I wanted them to be placed slightly below the brow line, while the other 2 chain would hang just a bit lower for that perfect, romantic look. 
b. Measuring out each chain and attaching it to the hairline piece took a few tries since I needed to make sure that this setup would work with the adjustable closure on the back of the head chain. 
c. Human error happens, and of course, I make mistakes. This was the case with the third set of chains. One was in the PERFECT spot, while the other one was hanging too low. I had to keep readjusting the chain on one side to have it match the other side.
Once all chains were attached and secured, the last step was to add the rhinestone link to the sides of the head chain. Initially we had planned to use only red crystals. After I started attaching the red crystals to the chain I realized that it all blended in too much, and it was not the look I wanted the head chain to have. So I decided to include alternating crystals instead: red and clear rhinestones looked much better because they tied in the enrite head chain together. 
We settled on "Anarkali" name for the head chain since the name itself has such rich cultural background behind it. Not to mention that it sounds completely breathtaking. 
According to Bisma, "The importance of the name is that "Anarkali" was the name of the the Mughal emperors favourite court dancer, she was the most graceful with the most beautiful voice ever. The emperor could not resist her charm and when the emperor's father found out that his son was in love with a common court dancer he got "Anarkali" stoned in a wall. She was buried in a wall alive to be exact. It is the eternal love story that required the sacrifice of a beautiful girl just for love. It is considered the biggest symbol of love."
The inspiration for the colors we used came from a traditional Pakistani weddings, where brides wear red. The color itself symbolizes fertility, prosperity, love, union, wealth, and beauty. It is considered that when a man marries a woman, the woman's fate brings wealth and prosperity to complete the family hence she wears the color red that symbolizes these emotions. Furthermore, it symbolizes the fortune and lasting happiness in the marriage.
I think the head chain turned out to be beautiful, but more importantly, the best part was taking an idea and making it a reality. I have never really documented the creative process in the past, so for me, as an artist is was awesome to see a brand new idea being formed into reality thanks to a collaboration between two people. I think the pictures really don't do this stunning piece any justice, and I can't wait for Bisma to get this piece and show it off. In addition, finding out about the Pakistani culture was really important for me in this process. Being able to understand, and relate to brides all over the world helped me really grasp the concept of the Anarkali Head Chain, and appreciate the intricacies of cultures that surround us. This was one of my favorite projects I've worked on in a long time, and I am definitely certain that it won't be Bisma's and I's last one.
Anarkali Head Chain

You can preorder the Anarkali Head Chain here. Please keep in mind that production of this piece will take anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks. Shoot us a message if you need your head chain soon, and Bare Sandals will make every attempt possible to meet your deadline. Will be available for sale starting June 1st. 
If you loved reading about this post, and want to read more about the creative process, or how we make custom orders for our sandals, please comment below and let me know. 
Until next week, Anna M :)
 



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