Hip can work wonders for you! | india | Hindustan Times
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Hip can work wonders for you!

Super lean looks with hip-hugging trousers and skirts accompanied by trendy belts as embellishment have become hip style statements especially among young women for that instant 'it-girl' status.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 17:05 IST

Super lean looks with hip-hugging trousers and skirts accompanied by trendy belts as embellishment have become hip style statements especially among young women for that instant 'it-girl' status.

"I'm ready to have a leather fringe to lend the cowboy look," says yuppie Deepika Bahl who has just bought herself 10 pairs of belts from Mumbai's Shopper's Stop.

Belts are becoming a rage this spring with youngsters wanting to define their hip hanging sensations with studs, rhinestones, leather and steel as well as a wide oxidised silver Rajasthani styled sequin.

The Western habit of hanging a belt on the hip is catching on in India too with trousers and skirts dominating the apparel fashion. And this time women want belts more than men.

"Neal 'N' Nikki" posters have set off the belt trends and everyone from soap stars to cine icons are celebrating the season of hip wonders.

In Washington, designer Balasundaram has created belts out of zari borders, placed tiny bells (ghungroos) on the two tassels so that they can be tied loosely to make a chic style statement.

"As with many fashion design movements, pop and MTV culture are helping blaze the trail," she said.

In the four metropolises of India, the belt ranges from ranch cowboy chic to antique silver ethnic to new zari stripped wonders.

At her fashion shows, Ritu Kumar's models are also sashaying with belts lithely swaying from their hips. At stores like Big Jo's and Saboos in Delhi, they are a must have accessory.

"We have started getting queries and everyone is buying belts these days," says the manager at Big Jo's this year. At Delhi's Janpath, small outlets and stores on the wayside have belts.

Of course, trends for belts in the West are poles apart from those in India. While Western styles gain favour in India, desi style signatures with the chic ethnic look are making inroads in the West.

"Belts from India made from cloth add a zing to a trouser ensemble," says Balasundaram. "They bring in a dash of the sizzle effect for a party, and I think the Indian weave of the zari makes such a statement. Even stone-studded belts are a rage here. I get a flood of queries from the big retail merchants," she says.

Fashion in India and the West has always been a melange of influences that are equally rough-hewn and refined, functional and decorative. Indian textile and craftwork on metal is actually adding extra flavour to design trends.

"I think when a belt looks different it adds an element of romance, and that is what is defining ethnic tastes here in the West," says Bloomigdales salesperson in Maryland's White Flint Mall.

In India, the cowboy look is gaining popularity with young girls. Belts in cloth leather and synthetics all studded and fringed and buckled are exemplifying an authentic American style.

"The cowboy style is wrongly perceived as macho, after all there were women in the West too," says Balasundaram. What is good about belts is that as an accessory they are casual and complement any attire no matter what the colour or the cloth," says Balasundaram as she gets ready to design another trend maker, desi-style.

Meanwhile "Indian Idol" finalists are also celebrating belts with a song.