Fashion is all about redefining the age-old dictums in a more modern and contemporary way. They say what goes around comes around. It always happens in the case of fashion trends. Today's case in point is the HAATH PHOOL.
A Haath Phool, literally translating into a hand flower, is an age-old fashion accessory for the Indian bride. It is worn on the hands with a flower-like focal resting in the centre with a ring (or rings)in the finger(s) and a bracelet or bangle on the wrist. It is an integral part of the Indian bride's wedding jewellery set and is considered as one of the SOLAAH SHRINGAR of the traditional Indian bride's dressing.
The Haath Phool goes by many names- Haath Kamal, Hand Chain, Hath Panja and sometimes it is also called the Slave Bracelet. Beyond its ornamental beauty, Haath Phool is a symbol of prosperity, good health and well-being of the bride. What was earlier a piece of jewellery specifically for the brides is now a very popular fashion accessory among women in India and abroad too.
It's not just the brides who are flaunting it on their weddings though. The Haath Phool is now a fashion accessory for celebrities. From Kelly Clarkson to Miley Cyrus, Sonam Kapoor to Madhuri Dixit, the Oscar red carpet to Filmfare green carpet, the swish set are dressing up their ensemble with the contemporary versions of the very versatile haath phool.
But did you know that from being the accessory of the Royals to being the slave bracelet, to becoming a piece of punk jewellery and finally becoming a MUST HAVE for every girl married or otherwise ever; The Haath Phool has had quite a journey? Let's take you through it-
Previously, it was believed that the Haath Phool was usually a jewellery piece set up only in Kundan or Jadau. However contrary to popular belief, it was usually made up of gold or silver or even uncut stones and diamonds. It was a very popular piece of adornment in the Mughal Era and was believed to be stapled jewellery of the Persian dancers at that time too. The Persian influence was picked up by Rajput women (did somebody say PADMAVATI?) who made it their favorite jewellery with such intricate and elaborate designs set in Kundan, Polki or uncut diamonds.
The Nawabi culture didn't remain immune to the charms of Haath Phool either. In fact, they gave it a Pearly makeover and made it the gorgeous Pearl Haath Phool.
Later on, the glitter of the Haath Phool dimmed out and it became associated with tribals and banjaras who wore its beaded or metallic versions. The aesthetics of the accessory changed dramatically and took out its regality.
However the current trend has made the Haath Phool pretty common, very chic and contemporary looking(besides the evergreen traditional version of it, of course). It can now be worn as the sophisticated ethnic accessory, or the street fashion inspired grunge metal jewellery.
CLASSIC POLKI, JADAU, AND KUNDAN HAATH PHOOL
The more recent and trending versions are designed by combining contemporary influences, along with the traditional elements and creating a design that justifies this elegant piece's beauty and timelessness. ￼
Manish Malhotra, Anju Modi, Tarun Tahiliani,... the list could go on, each big designer has created his/her version of the Haath Phool in recent times and won the hearts of the masses and classes with its beauty and charm. As far as the more commercial traditional versions are concerned, head to any leading jewellery house or fashion house and you will be astounded by the sheer grandeur and variety of this little handpiece that's out there. It is available in precious and semi-precious options, as well as gold, Kundan and diamond versions.
FLORAL HAATH PHOOL
No bride goes through her Mehandi and Haldi ceremony without floral jewelry now a days. Haath Phool made out of Marigold, Roses, Dahlias, Jasmine, Tulips, etc. or even artificial flowers accentuate the bridal glow naturally making her look extremely fresh and gorgeous.
GOTA PATTI HAATH PHOOL
Another popular style of the hand bracelet is made out of delicate Gota-Patti woven intricately into floral designs and strings to adorn the bride's hands. Again, this trend has caught up like wildfire and we aren't complaining.
PARTY WEAR AND FAUX MATERIAL HAATH PHOOL
The Haath Phool can be worn on casual as well as formal occasions. To quirk up your western wear, choose from the simple chain and ring attachment to a bangle in gold or silver, or you can opt for the more elaborate intricate metal designs. There are plenty of innovative party wear Haath Phool designs as well that use everything like leather, faux fur, lace, beads, metals, even up-cycled materials to make unusual hand bracelets. The options are truly endless.
So this season, let your perfectly manicured and accessorized hands do the talking. Give your man another excuse to hold them. Indulge yourself, flaunt the Haath Phool.