Free Press Journal

How traditional Indian bindi is rocking the global stage

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The age-old Indian bindi, once known as the staple manifestation of Adarsh Nari has come a long way to rock the global stage, writes Amita Ghosh

A gem that lies in the open, is often ignored; such was the fate of bindi too. But not anymore. A bright vibrant dot right in the middle of the eyebrows – always had a lot of historical, social and religious relevance in India. But, sadly even till a couple of years back, this little pretty glittery thing was looked down upon as ‘too behenji’, ‘shaadi-wala stuff’ and old fashioned. Who knew, that the same bindi will make a comeback and how! They are being experimented with, on the fashion ramps and are a regular in parties, fashion fairs and even in Bollywood.

Thank you, Holly, dhanyavaad Bolly!


From Vanessa Hudgens to Selena Gomez, Katy Perry to Miley Cyrus, world famous fashion designers from John Galliano to Jean Paul Gaultier — bindi has found a way of its own with each one of them, securing a place slowly in Bollywood too. In the last three editions of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival also bindi has been spotted as the new ‘it’ thing among fashion lovers across the world. As a lot of Hollywood stars were found wearing bindis during live shows and fashion events, the path to conquer Bollywood once again was made easier for the bindis.

While the presence of bindi in the global market creates a huge hype, fashion designer Agnimitra Paul attributes equal importance of Bollywood divas introducing more ‘Indie’ things outside India, reflecting it as a global trend. “You know, these days, anything Indian is very popular abroad. Be it how Vidya Balan carries a red Bengali bindi or how Aishwariya Rai Bachchan graces Lucknow chikan salwar suit. The dynamics for this bindi trend is easy. Bindis got a chunk of hippie takers abroad, from there it was migrated among Hollywood stars. Now that we have global icons like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, there’s no looking back,” says the designer who recently experimented with big yellowish orange bindis during Lucknow Fashion Week.

Bindi-ing is ‘Indie cool’

Models in Agnimitra Paul collection sporting big yellowish orange bindis during Lucknow Fashion Week

An accessory which was earlier considered as the ‘aunties’ must-have’ is now being opted equally by the younger generation. “Indie cool is very much in trend. The bindi is an integral part of the trend. Mixing and matching Indian with western sensibly, is the language of this trend. The look spells a beautiful harmony between opposite ideas is the core of Indie cool. The bindi adds so much of spunk to the look,” says designer Nida Mahmood who is often found sporting bindis with Indo Westerns, Westerns and ethnics.

A fashion blogger and a bindi lover, Priya Adivarekar says, “From simple dots to metallic designs and other detailed creations, the bindi trend gained a lot of attention. Campaigns like ‘Reclaim the Bindi’ have gained prominence too. The markets are filled with different variety of bindis, which includes metallic paisley, stones, mirror, star designs among others.”

Go as you like

While a small red or black bindi is regular with ethnics like a sari or salwar suit or kurta, fashion lovers across the world are busy in mixing and matching and experimenting with bindis. White metallic, snake shaped and crystal blues are the ones that are being worn with western and hippie dresses.

Deepti Chandak, a Mumbai-based fashionista tells us, “I have grown up seeing my mom wearing bindi all her life and I agree it does add to the looks. It beautifies the look when it comes to Indian dressing but now one can add up to it with a simple Indo-Western style as well.”

Aditi Parashar, a travel and style blogger based in Paris who also works with Indian brands shares, “Besides with the festival-hippie-bohemian dresses, bindis can be paired with palazzos and floral dresses too. I’d also suggest pairing it with a Bardot top or a Peasant dress. Bindis with these combinations would make for something really unique and comfortable.”

Getting global

Who had thought that even for selling bindis companies in the US and the UK will open exclusive retail portals? Varieties, as many as one hundred, are sold on these websites and the demand is said to have been increasing by day. Bhawani Shankar Pandey, a wholeseller of bindis from Gujarat’s Vadodara says, “There’s been a sudden hike in the demand of bindis recently. We sell bindis across India as well as export to the UK, the US and the UAE. Earlier it was only our NRI clients who would be targeted for the products but nowadays, foreign clients are showing equal interest. We are also in talks to collaborate with a US style blog and retail website through which variety of bindis will be sold abroad.”

According to other marketers, along with red and black regular bindis, Bajirao Mastani bindis are doing well in Indian markets. The most sold ones in abroad are said to be the crystal small and snake designed bindis.

How to Rock it

Go minimal make up with bindis

Go for Monochrome bindi colours with street wear

Find a bindi that makes a statement in the most subtle way

Double it with a light headgear

Wear it with the clothing with flairs

But don’t

Overdo

Go for intense make-up when pairing a bindi with the Western attire

Wear a bindi just to follow the trend, take your pick wisely