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Bangles bag the limelight

If you thought that the Indian contribution to the world fashion scene has only being a sari, then think again, as bangles are fast becoming the hottest accessory on the international red carpet scene.

fashion and trends Updated: Jan 30, 2012 00:48 IST
Aishwarya Sati
Nicole-Kidman-opted-for-an-off-white-oyster-coloured-gown-with-golden-studded-detail-by-Versace-which-complemented-her-hair-colour-and-she-stepped-out-with-husband-Keith-Urban-Reuters
Nicole-Kidman-opted-for-an-off-white-oyster-coloured-gown-with-golden-studded-detail-by-Versace-which-complemented-her-hair-colour-and-she-stepped-out-with-husband-Keith-Urban-Reuters

If you thought that the Indian contribution to the world fashion scene has only being a sari, then think again, as bangles are fast becoming the hottest accessory on the international red carpet scene.

The recent Golden Globe Awards were a testimony to this as Hollywood actors like Tilda Swinton, Jessica Alba, Nicole Kidman, Sofia Vergara and Kate Beckinsale wore bracelet style bangles with their evening gowns. Not just the red carpet, bangles have also fascinated celebs such as singer Beyonce, reality star Kim Kardashian who is known to stock them at her store Dash, in the US. Actors Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez and Mischa Barton have been spotted wearing them too. Jewellery designer Alpana Gujral says, “Stacked bangle bracelets are a big trend again for 2012. Stacking several bangles together is the trend of the season. The bangles to go for are the ones with chunky and bold designs.”

Designer Sulish Verma of Vikas Chain and Jewellery says, “Bangles and bracelets featuring rubies and pearls with intricate finishing are a fashionista’s favourite this season. “Chunky bangles can be paired with ethic attire, a ball gown, a short funky dress or jeans,” says the jewellery designer duo Praveen and Pradeep Goel. However, bangles have also modified with time and one can now see different variants like the hand cuffs, the bangle-bracelet and charm bracelets that are meant for good luck. “Modern take on the traditional bangle like bangle-bracelet, tiffany bracelets and the hand cuffs are uber cool as they add a vintage charm to the look,” says Gujral.

Clearly, Indian inspired bangles are a global hit but experts warn against going over board. Stylist Parul Khanna says, “Keep your look simple yet striking. Don’t wear too many pieces at one time.”

Experts point out some of the emerging bangle trends globally
1 According to Chetna Nanda of Chitih Sparkling Gems, “If you are looking for gemstone encrusted bangles, then pink tourmaline, pink sapphires and rhodolite garnets in stone are the hottest options this season.”
2 Rahul Singh of Gaja Jewellery says, "Bangles in white and gold combination studded with precious stones are in vogue this year. Even bangles with colourful meenakari work are in trend.”
3 Machine made yellow gold and white gold bracelets in different designs are also a hit.
4 The oversized chunky and colourful plastic bangles and bracelets have always been around and they are still in demand.
5 According to Alpana Gujral, “Chunky painted wooden bangles, lac and enamel bangles look funky if paired with a western outfit as the fusion look is very fashionable.”
6 Even bracelets and bangles made out of natural fibres like silk, hemp and resin will be worth collecting, as they will accentuate the boho-chic look.

Caring made simple

If you thought caring for your precious or semi precious jewellery was difficult then think again. Follow these simple steps to keep your bracelets and bangles shining always.

General Tips
1 Store your bracelets and bangles in a clean, dry place.
2 Keep them in a fabric-lined jewellery case, or in a box with compartments.
3 If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in soft tissue paper or line it with a layer of cotton.
4 Don't jumble your jewellery pieces in a drawer or a case as they can break.
5 Always remove your jewellery while washing your hands as it can wear down the polish.

Diamond Jewellery
1 Do not wear diamond bracelets, when doing rough work. Even though diamond is one of the hardest materials, it can still be chipped by a sudden blow.
2 Keep your diamonds away from chlorine bleach or other chemicals as it can alter the colour.
3 Remove your diamond bracelets before entering the pool.
4 Clean diamonds using jewellery cleaner and a soft cloth.

Coloured Gemstones
1 Since many natural gemstones are treated or enhanced from the time they are extracted, one has to be careful while handling them. Always wipe your bracelets/bangles with a soft cloth after wearing as they tend to accumulate sweat.
2 Store gemstones in separate soft pouches.
3 Keep your gemstones away from perfumes and oil as they might become dull.
4 Do not subject gemstone
jewellery to sudden temperature changes.

Cultured Pearls
1 Always apply cosmetics, hair sprays and perfumes before putting on your pearl bracelets and wipe it with a cloth after taking them off.
2 Wash your pearls with mild soap and water. Do not use harsh chemicals.
3 Place cultured pearls in a chamois bag or wrap in tissue when putting them away.
4 Get your pearl jewellery re-stringed once a year as it tends to become weak and snap.

Gold/ Platinum/ Silver
1. Silver, like other precious metals, can oxidize with time. Use an old toothbrush and mild soap for gently cleaning silver bracelets. Always pat dry with a soft cloth.
2. Make sure your silver is not exposed to air and light during storage as this can cause silver to tarnish.
3. One can also use a jewellery cleaner for stubborn stains.
4.Always store jewellery in a cool, dry place, preferably in a tarnish-preventive bag.