I have great respect and admiration for Indian fashion and one of my particular favorites is the Indian sari.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Indian Sari Accessories

Accessories in Indian fashion, are used in the same way as they are in any culture, to adorn the wearer and to help transform a garmet into one suitable for the occasion. We use accessories to accentuate the desired qualities of the Indian sari in exactly the same way a student would use belts and jewellery to dress up a pair of denims to create the right look for a formal gathering.

Some traditional Indian jewellery can however have a religious or a specific cultural significance. In certain Indian communities a gold or glass bangle is worn by a married woman to safeguard the well-being of her husband and sons. The designs adorning the bangles, as with the decoration to the Indian sari cloth, is often taken from nature, the stars and the moon.

Toe rings were traditionally worn on the second toe of either foot. They were believed to be an important accessory to be worn by married women
. They continue to be worn to accessorise the Indian sari but are also now regarded as trendy and stylish jewellery by women of all ages.

Nowadays, toe rings are particularly popular with western women and internationally they are worn as a high fashion accessory. They are worn in the west singularly or in multiples of odd and even numbers while in India they are usually worn in pairs.Toe rings are, as seen in the picture, adjustable and can be made of gold, silver or an alloy. They are usually decorated with natural forms and I have seen some beautiful examples of enamelled rings. I expect the enamelling causes the ring to be less pliable but the effect of the colour is striking.

Anklets are another item of jewellery often worn with an Indian sari. For a long time they were made from silver or brass but as they too have become more popular they are produced as items of designer jewellery in more expensive metals and adorned with intricate decoration. Although we think of anklets being of traditional Indian origin, they also had specific spiritual and cultural significance in
Egypt and the Middle East.

I must make a reference to the beautiful matching necklace and ear ring sets; the Indian kundan jewelery worn by the bride and bridesmaids at a wedding. There are some fantastic immitations available equally as elaborate as the real thing. I saw these at Fusion Jewels. They would flatter any indian sari. They range from being very intricate and multi-jewelled to being quite modern in appearance and of a more classic design.

Other popular accessories worn with the Indian sari include the intricately decorated hand bags. These are embroidered often with beadwork which can incorporate pearls, precious metals and other jewels. The bags can be bought in complementary colours or matching colours to the sari cloth; the different elements of the outfit, sari, jewellery and bag, appear to have been designed as one.

To read more about traditional Indian jewellery, its history and origins and to get some great ideas on complimentary accessories for your Indian sari go to Indian gifts and handicrafts.


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