Move over jhumkas and pajebs (anklets), it’s the good ol’ desi waist girdle that’s making waves in Bollywood as a hot fashion accessory these days.
While Kareena Kapoor seems to be the forerunner in sporting kamarband jewellery in many of her films including her recent item number, Fevicol Se from Dabbang 2, other Bollywood divas such as Katrina Kaif sported a similar piece in the song, Mashallah... from the film Ek Tha Tiger, and Sonakshi Sinha too adorned a dainty waist girdle in Son of Sardar.
This, far from the English ‘cummerband’ adaptation for men that was a hit in films of the 60s.
Leading designers say the accessory’s comeback is well evident. “The kamarbands-style girdle as a piece of jewellery gives a wonderful natural curve to a woman’s figure, and enhances the entire look,” says designer Leena Singh of Ashima-Leena.
Designer Reynu Taandon says it’s one of those old traditional pieces that’s made a comeback which is here to stay. “The kamarband being used as a jewellery is more of an old royal fashion but it certainly looks fabulous even if you sport it with a modern sari.”
Designer Manish Arora has even taken a modern version of the band to the Paris Fashion Week recently. “I just loved the whole thing because kamarbands are so very Indian, and one can experiment and do so much with them,” says Arora.
Meanwhile, jewellers in the city are flooded with demand for these traditional-turned-trendy waistbands sported by heroines on screen. “The demand has grown multifold. We had to in fact widen our range to meet the demands,” says Aditi Gupta, owner of BG’S Jewelry. “There’s no doubt that the kamarband is the highlight this wedding season,” says Anuradha Chhabra of Jewels by ANU. “We are embellishing the kamarbands with precious stones too,” says Udit Sehgal, of Blues Jewellery Company.
That cummerbund, and this kamarband
‘Cummerbund’, which entered English vocabulary in the 17th century, comes from the Persian ‘kamarband’ — kamar (waist) + band (band). It is believed to have come from Afghanistan, and worn by tribal warriors. It was adopted by British officers in colonial India as an alternative to a waistcoat. Traditional kamarband jewellery is generally a metal chain or layers of such embellished chains.