Call it the third eye, a new bride’s ornament or a concealed dot of wisdom, the bindi has unmistakably and effortlessly transcended the boundaries of tradition and seeped into the fashion world as the hottest, decorative dot.
When Madonna first sported the bindi in her 90s’ album ‘Frozen’, no one knew that a dot could cause a ripple of speculation and curiosity in the western world. The 90s’ pop culture style had sure stirred up. Everybody wanted to know just what that mark on the forehead meant. Secretly, everybody wanted to wear it even if they didn’t know.
Borrowed from the Indian culture, the bindi has evolved from being a religious symbol to a fashion statement. Historically, it was placed exactly between the eyebrows to signify the ‘third eye’, a centre of great energy, intellect and a means to ward off evil. Over the years, it has become an endearing little spot for artists, celebrities, and fashion aficionados alike, presenting itself in a metamorphosis of shapes, colours and sizes.
A fashion statement
Gwen Stefani’s obsession with the bindi began when she first wore it in her 90s single ‘Just a Girl’, followed by being flashed in it at practically every public appearance. We don't know if Gwen’s reasons were religious or just to break out of the conventional fashion bubble, but we can’t deny that it started a trend in the West that threw the spotlight on everything ‘Indian’. Arguably, the bindi may have been the precursor to put yoga, Bollywood and Indian fashion on the style map.
Hot on the ramp
The interest in the vermillion dab reached the runway too. Chanel’s 2012 Pre Fall collection was flushed with Bombay-inspired fixings, such as exuberant bindis that hung like head charms on each model. Singers Katy Perry and Azealia Banks have been spotted wearing the spot on many performances and even red-carpet appearances.
Hate it or love it, you may not even wear it, but the bindi is perhaps the smallest facet of Indian style that has made a statement on many, hard to ignore.
Written by Deepa Sajnani on Apr 02, 2014