Simplistic elegance is back with a mighty roar. Traditional jewellery kept to a minimum and adorned with a sari, a breathtaking yet breezy summer fragrance, weightless yet enhancing makeup is what will bring out the beauty in you.
Allow yourself to outdo your makeup and jewellery and not the other way round, is what we have to say. The gaudiness of your attire takes away from you; let the supplements grow on you as compliments.
We have re-discovered the few age-old ornaments that define a Bengali woman from the masses or the classes. Hand-me-down vintage jewellery from generations ago is to be unlocked from the vault and embraced this season. Bengali designs define true femininity and reveal our rich heritage.
Crescent and stars
A scroll back into the bygone days, we see women adoring these transcendent designs- makri earrings with crescent and star designs are truly Bengali.
Pair them up with a chiffon sari to a party and voila, you are chic and la belle de la fête. These are traditional and have been lost from our everyday wardrobe but have crept their way back into the fashion scene.
For a hot summer day wear, you could opt for a pair of jeans, a plain white tee, a pair of wayfarers or aviators and our very own makris: this is what we truly call a fusion-istic vision.
Shopne dekha rajkonna
Shagarika earrings defined as large circular pieces in the shape of hoola-hoops can hook you right in with its appeal. Shagarika earrings moulded in either silver or gold are shades you can choose from.
These can be worn for both your late night-outs and your long working hours. Try on dark smoky eyes, a plain bandage dress or a poofy one; raise your heels with stilettos; and dangle those shagarika earrings to the beats of the night.
For daywear, sport eyeliner and a pinkish lip balm, paired with your everyday sari, shalwar kameez or your trousers and shirt: you are a true fashion connoisseur.
One for the village belle
Hashulis are crescent shaped cylindrical pieces for the neck. These are intricately weaved with traditional designs and wraps on the ends with makars.
They come in various sizes. We recommend you choose your hashuli according to the length of your neck and shoulder width. Try on a few, before you decide which one you can truly call yours. Bare necks align with hashulis and with low necklines highlight your collarbones.
Baju bandhs are hashuli shaped ornaments for the arms and these neat traditional armbands are to flaunt your arms. Baju Bandhs can be paired with arms exposés: a sleeveless blouse or a kameez the deshi way.
The malleability of baju bandhs allows them to be worn with everything and anything. Flaunt your arms with the heat of this season!
Golap balas are ornamented gold bangles. The empowerment of balas should be rounded on, so do not let your outfits do the talking with these on. Golap balas talk and everything else synchronises to listen.
Paint my love
Meenakaris have always been on the top of the jewellery scene but this time around has climbed a few steps up the ladder.
With their enamelled patent designs, more often than not with peacocks, Meenakaris are to be worn this pre-summer. They translate a powerful message with every piece and now are a must-have.
Meenakaris, especially the lighter pieces can be locked with a cotton or chiffon sari to knock everyone's daylights out. Since Meenakaris come in extravagant colours, pastels are what should be draped on. Earpieces can be tucked in with anything straight out of the wardrobe.
Casting a spell
Tabeej signifies the utmost ethnicity of our far-forgotten folklores and the identity of our village women. This can be worn with a thick black or dark brown thread around the neck or the arm.
You can create a neckpiece with a couple of tabeejes. Here is how: Take a thick black thread and one by one put your tabeejes through and when you place one in, tie a knot around; then proceed to the next. Keep the distance in between the tabeejes equal. Fatuas, Tee-shirts and saris are what you can wear tabeejes with.
Who dares wins
Noloks next to another nose stud have trod around our paddy fields and the tracts of our hills. Dhanshish noloks are created with crescent and stars or as we would call them modern-day charms.
Noloks are a page from our history and it is time to identify their contribution. This is definitely not everyone's cup of tea but if you dare, nolok it on.
Naoratan consists of nine precious jewels- sapphire, diamond, emerald, ruby, pearl, turquoise, garnet, cat's eye and coral. Heavy jewellery adds to our weights during the weddings, next to the delicacies served at the venues!
If heavy is what you have to go for, opt for Naoratan. Kunda instead of polkis and stone chips. If you have a family heirloom, go grab it.
Time for the timeless
With the rising prices of gold, much enthusiasm is lost for them. Our picks would very well go with costume jewellery or silver ornaments. As long as the pick is traditional and designs home grown, matched with a garb that is 'you', you just can't go wrong!
By Sanjana Rahman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Makeup: Farzana Shakil Makeover Salon
Silver Jewellery courtesy: Aarong