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LAND OF MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE: Has there ever been a nation that has produced more exquisitely detailed and elegant jewelry than India?  From the majestic Taj Mahal to the spiritual enclaves of the austere Himalayas, India’s panorama of mystery, creativity, and alluring exotica flows endlessly.

History was no different in recent weeks, when India launched three different fashion shows to entrance international buyers. Most of the designs featured new, exciting talent and were strongly geared toward a western clientele. 

Despite the global economic downturn, sales surged.  Spirits were high.  All in all, the events were a smash success, with plenty of fresh ideas and selling strategies emerging.  Pantsuits, short hems and dresses filled the runways, along with wonderful Indian fabrics and motifs.  There were even teenie bikinis, a real rarity in this part of the world. 

MAJOR ETHNIC SURGE:  Ruthie Miller of American Rag pointed out that there is a strong surge of ethnic interest in America right now.  She felt this was the right time to introduce new Indian designers to the U.S., saying that the Indian look fits the current fashion look.


          — Here in the United States, chandelier earrings are already giving the Indian look a major boost forward, especially when they feature colorful jewels and seductive and dazzling movement.  Consider Austrian crystal earrings for beauty and ethnicity power.  Also, to maximize the color factor, look at crystal chandeliers in amber, Siam red, or peridot green


Indian designers adore color, especially bright, dazzling color mixed with crystals and sequins for gorgeous light refraction.  For nightwear, a particularly dramatic choice in the Indian-mode on the American shore would be rhinestone chandelier earrings with 2″ long drops.  These sparkling pieces would make any evening outfit shine!


FASCINATING COLOR USES:  Among the popular designers showing in New Delhi and Mumbai was Anukj Sharma, from Rajasthan.  The young designer’s work features Grecian styles, crepes, and georgette dresses. The use of color here was interesting, mainly browns and grays.  Other designers tended more toward exuberant colors, in true Indian tradition, showing bright hues and glittering embellishments and jewelry. 


An outfit from Lecoanet Hemant was particularly western:  A short-hemmed black skirt with white top topped by a transparent bright orange red shortie coat.  Another lovely look came from Prashant Verma.  Here an above-the-knee dress in modern black, blue and white print with shining embellishments looked very American Girl-ish.  A gorgeous Indian sari from Anuu Modi was done in shimmering gold, very light, airy, flowing. It was shown with a very ornate headdress, satiny slippers, and an unusual green pendant necklace. 


METALLICA:  Not only did the shows elevate Indian fashion to a high degree, they also acted as a dynamic backdrop to traditional Indian jewelry.  Just look at many of the handsome India-Indian ankle bracelets that are so popular, like a silver-plated ankle charm piece.  Also, the  profusion of metallic embellishments, which has been a mainstay of Indian fashion for centuries, gave an exotic, spectacular flavor to both accessories and clothing.


Not to be missed:  Indian bracelets, most of them done in rich metal finishes.  Bracelets were often piled in multiples up the arm, as has been the custom in the Middle East for a very long time.


                  — In this story, wonderful choices with strong India-inspiration are elephant bracelets, with wide artistic cuffs showing elephants in raised relief.  This is then bordered by textured gold plating.  These bracelets cross over the night-and-day lines, becoming as casual or as formal as the event demands



For a singularly formal evening, though, look at sparkling crystal bracelets, just perfect for that special affair.  These bracelets are beautifully made of Austrian crystal.  To be worn alone or with any other jewelry here:  Silver-plated bangles.



And for evening or day wear, go the Indian way with a barrage of silver bangles worn on both arms.  Spectacular!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, November 13th, 2008

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