What is common between Hollywood icons Miley Cyrus, Alecia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and Madonna? They have of late been spotted wearing an Indian fashion accessory - the bindi.
No Indian attire is complete without an appropriate bindi, and over the years it has turned into a fashion statement not only in India but in the West as well. The number of young girls sporting bindi abroad is noticeable.
Has bindi become a fad again?
"If you ask me, bindi is neither in nor out. It fits beautifully with the Indian look, especially saris. Yes, Madonna and many other pop stars use bindi. It's fun for them to look different, but for us it creates a magic. And being an Indian we cannot keep ourselves apart from bindi. As Indian designers we have to create a little magic so that it breaks the barrier of being Indian to a global format," Delhi-based designer Joy Mitra told IANS.
"Styling differs from person to person. I might style bindi in a certain way, but honestly one has to be sure and confident about the right colour, size and with what garment it should be worn. I might use a bright red big bindi with my traditional saris or a small diamond or Swarovski bindi with my jackets," he added.
The word bindi is derived from the Sanskrit word bindu which means a dot.
In India, bindi is usually worn with saris and salwar kameez, but how can we make it a more global accessory?
"One can match bindis with clothes that have a lot of lace... also with Victorian style gowns made with wispy fabrics like chiffons and georgettes. Full skirts and dresses have a lot of volume and bindis gel with them," designer Aastha Bahl suggested on how to team the bindi with Western wear.
Shilpa Rastogi, a city-bred college girl, said: "I often wear bindi with long skirts and t-shirts. I also like wearing bindi with jeans and t-shirts. It's all about how you carry it. It need not necessarily be associated with saris or salwar kameez."
Bindis can be worn in various shapes and designs. "You can draw straight vertical lines or an oval or a triangle or a miniature artistry in various colours with the help of a fine-tipped stick," said socialite Tanisha Mohan.
And if you want to make it more prominent, "dust it with gold and silver powder or add a stud or a bead," she added.
In olden days, bindis were usually worn with vermilion powder but later sticker-bindis with glue on one side came and became a hot favourite and now they are available in various shapes and sizes.
The daily television soaps have also given a makeover to bindis. Actresses like Sudha Chandran and Uravashi Dholkai popularised bindis by trying them out in various shapes and designs.
So if you want to make a fashion statement, try bindis with with Western wear, but be innovative when it comes to designing them.