March 7, 2001,
as fashion accessory
Key to style
A famous singer with mehndi all over her body created quite a stir at last year’s MTV awards function, bearing testimony to the fact that this art has moulded itself so perfectly according to the needs of changing times to become chic and fashionable rather than being drab .
Mehndi has broken free of the traditional wedding, Teej or Karva Chauth days and is being applied for a Valentine’s Day bash , a formal party or even an evening at a disco. In its new avatar, mehndi has been elevated to the status of body art and a fashion accessory for the fashion-conscious youngsters.
In recent popular culture, mehndi has enjoyed a renewal. Western musicians and Hollywood personalities have adopted and altered the tradition so that mehndi as a temporary, pain-free body ornamentation alternative to tattooing is now the hottest new trend among women and men. As the trend grows in popularity, so grows the list of personalities that have been seen sporting mehndi patterns. Actress Demi Moore was among the first celebrities to be seen wearing mehndi. From Madonna and Naomi Campbell to Drew Barrymore the list of famous names smitten with mehndi magic is ever increasing.
The art of decorating hands and feet with henna has been in vogue for the past 5,000 years and even though the designs fade the art has withstood the impact of change.
Now it is not just hands and feet that are adorned, but also arms , neck, back and navel.
Rekha Sharma, a city-based mehndi artist, who has been in this field for the past 18 years and has seen this traditional art form change into its new-age avatar says, ‘‘for the past 2-3 years the number of teenaged college -going clients has increased substantially. They prefer glitter and coloured mehndi for formal parties and are willing to experiment with new things. They also do not hesitate to pay for these designs.’’ Rekha says that she used to charge Rs 80 for bridal mehndi when she started 18 years ago, but now it can cost anywhere between Rs 2,500 to 4,000 depending on the intricacy of the designs.
the delicate and intricate Rajasthani mehndi designs have been a traditional favourite but it is the bold and thicker strokes of Arabic mehndi designs which are in consonance with the aspirations of the bold Y2K generation. Designs like ‘chaupad’, ‘chaukhana’, ‘lahriya , ‘ghevar’and delicate floral designs are part of traditional Rajasthani mehndi and peacock and ‘ambi’designs are more popular in Gujarati style. Traditional Mughlai or Khujaraho designs, marriage scenes of baraat, doli and even images of Lord Ganesha are very popular in the Arabic form.
Three main traditions can be recognised aside from the modern use of henna as a trendy temporary tattoo. Generally Arabic (Middle-Eastern) mehndi features large, floral patterns on hands and feet , while Indian mehndi uses fine lines, lacy, floral patterns . Apart from these there is the African mehndi art which involves large and bold geometrically-patterned angles. African mehndi patterns usually use black henna whereas Asian and Arabic henna is often reddish brown.
Also in vogue is shaded mehndi which plays with contrasts of black, red and maroon. This has not only caught the fancy of several brides who prefer it for the D-day, but is also a favourite with party lovers. The black coloured outlining is done with a chemical dye and later on the design is filled up with regular henna. According to Rekha, addition of clove oil to the dark shade reduces the chance of allergy to a great extent in this form.
Glitter mehndi is another variation quite popular with young generation these days. In this, the traditional designs are highlighted with the use of gold, silver or copper coloured glitters which give a shimmering effect. This goes very well with formal dresses.
Tiny crystal granules are also used to embellish henna designs giving a rich effect.
Mehndi tattoos are
infact quite popular among college-going girls. Sanjana, a first year
student at a local college, and her friends had mehndi tattoos on back
and arms for a hostel party. These are trendy and something different,
says Sanjana and adds that the se go well with western outfits. Sneha, however
prefers to experiment with new styles for that
different look.‘‘At a wedding I would like to wear a different style
design from the bride’’,she says. Earlier there were no options but
things have changed in the past 2-3 years
A boyfriend tries to impress his girlfriend with his new car. But it's something else that first catches her eye. "Oh wow ! what a stylish key ring you have," she gushes . "Will you gift it to me ?", she asks him testily.
Key rings have now gone beyond their utilitarian value to emerge as fashion accessories. Much like designer dresses and accompaniments like neckties, belts and purses, key rings are a part of a person's style statement.
A host of unusual key rings, popular with fashion-conscious guys and girls, are available in the city.
Their price ranges from as little as Rs 20 to a hefty Rs 200. Ordinary and small, but attractive key rings are available in the lower range of Rs 20-35. These include small red heart- shaped ones with ‘‘I love you’’ messages on them. Small bells are also available in the same range. These bells are available in golden and silver colours with a lot of accessories like small hearts and attractive springs. ‘‘ These key rings are real hot’’, claim various shopkeepers .
The other popular key rings under the range are those showing a boy with a pitchkari. You can do a lot of mischief with it. It's made of plastic. There are also some polystone key rings in the shapes of jeans, jackets and other things. Small teddies are also available for Rs 20. Another popular keyring among girls is a barbie wearing pencil heels with golden ghungroos on it.
Camphor key rings are the new arrivals in the city. They are available in different shapes of vegetables and fruits, etc. They are available in the range of Rs 70 to 85. A key ring with a small golden heart-shaped pendant is also popular and available for Rs 25 only.
In the expensive
bracket are leather key rings with buckles costing Rs 45- Rs 95. They
are also available in different shapes. Small plastic bag key rings
are also popular, available from Rs 95 to Rs 150. Some other rubber
key rings in animak shapes are available for about Rs 75. Big teddy
key rings ranging between Rs 130 and 175 are also popular . However,
musical heart and laser stick key rings are passe.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |