In Fashion: Bollywood, here we come
Mar 05,2009 00:00 by Sharon_Mosley

Want to add a dash of spice to your spring wardrobe? Well, you can look like a millionaire, not a slum dog, by just mixing in a little Indian flair. Get inspired by the latest award-winning movie and think globally. Embrace the colorful fashion of India's Bollywood and enliven your basic budget wardrobes.

Brightly colored floral tunics provide spice to spring wardrobes. Photo courtesy of JCPenney.

Here's how to translate the latest looks in your own closet:

— Start with color. The brighter the better: We're talking hot pink, sizzling reds, tangy oranges, electric blues and bursts of yellow. Add just one piece of a blast of vivid color to your jeans in a flowing tunic (the Indians call them kurtas) or in a caftan thrown over a swimsuit, and you'll get the picture fast. Or for even more fun, mix bright colors together: pink and orange or yellow and red.

— Add some pattern. Floral and stripes are big fashion trends on the American scene this spring and summer, so it won't be hard to find your favorite basics in updated prints that are much bolder than past seasons.

— Go for embellishment with a capital letter "E." Hand-worked embroidery with mirrors, sequins and beads are common elements in Indian fashion. A best bet: Look for halter-tops with sweetheart necklines edged with lots of jewel-encrusted sparkle.

— Get some flair. Spring and summer is the perfect time to switch to long-flared skirts and pants in tissue-weight fabrics like chiffon, georgette or silk. Traditional Indian fashionistas often wear layer upon layer of lightweight pieces for even more drama.

— Wrap up in a sari. The traditional Indian sari or saree is a long length of cloth draped around the body; it is usually worn over a long or short blouse and long, matching skirt. But you can easily adapt one of these into your wardrobe by using it as a beautiful scarf or shawl. Why not wear it over your little black dress to add some newness on a chilly spring night?

— Think exotic accessories. There are many other ways to obtain the exotic Bollywood look other than doing the mehendi thing, where henna designs are applied to the palms of your hands.

How about toe-loop sandals in a shining metallic? Or leather belts decorated with shells and stones? Or a clutch handbag studded with sparkling mirrors and beads? Oversized necklaces and bangles are other hot accessory trends this season that will give you a touch of Bollywood elegance.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.